The Lockhart Gallery is currently showcasing "Light & Form: A Visual Legacy," an exhibit featuring the work of sculptor and Geneseo art professor Carl Shanahan and his son, photographer Sean Shanahan, a 1991 Geneseo graduate.
Carl Shanahan's work consists of pottery such as pitchers, teapots, vases and bowls which he skillfully transforms into visually interesting pieces of art. The earth-toned vessels are uniquely shaped and wear textures that beg to be touched. Each piece seems so intricate that his technique is not apparent. He is a very mindful artist who takes great care in creating each and every distinctive piece.
For this show, Sean Shanahan shot mostly in black and white using a low-tech plastic film camera called a Holga. The effect of the Holga is a photo that is sharp in the center with soft and fuzzy darker edges. The result is photos that look like they came from your great-grandmother's album.
Sean Shanahan stated that he chose subjects based upon how they looked on the Holga specifically. He shot in locations like Mexico, Cambodia and Thailand and captured architecture and landscapes as well as portraits that show the culture and beauty of the location. "Tuc-Tuc driver," a photo taken in Bangkok, captures the smiling eyes of a Thai man as he picks up his passenger. "Jeweler - Old Russian Market" focuses on the weathered hands of an artisan in Cambodia.
He also chose to include some recently-developed portraits of American soldiers. Breaking away from the rest of the show, these sharply focused photos are up-close and personal. They showcase Sean Shanahan's talent for capturing a revealing expression, giving the viewer a small glimpse of who the subject is, what they care about or how they feel.
Both artists' contributions make this show one that is not to be missed. Photography and pottery are rarely coupled in the same gallery. However, Sean Shanahan's talent for knowing how light will affect a photograph and Carl Shanahan's intimate appreciation for shape and form make the title of the show quite fitting. This show is also unique as the artists have a close relationship with our university and community.
"Light and Form" is showing through May 10 and is free and open to the public.