Old-style photographer, new-fangled show

February 24, 2008|By CHRIS COPLEY

In an art world increasingly prettied-up with digital processing, nationally known nature photographer Tony Zizzi is a dinosaur.

"I'm still analog - still silver-based (film)," he said by phone from his home near Carlisle, Pa. "But if you look at the clarity and the resolution of my work, you'll see why I don't think I can do better with digital."

Zizzi's old-school, film-based images will be included in a seven-artist show at Benjamin Art Gallery in Hagerstown. The show, "Eclectico," opens in March and also features oil paintings by Lori Eubanks and Dennis Blalock, ceramic art by Sara Knox, sculpture by H.I. Gates and Sinclair Hamilton and acrylic paintings by Leslie Norris.

Kimberly Jensen, who designs and hangs shows at Benjamin, said she and gallery director Molly Middlebrook Amos wanted to put on a different kind of show.


"We were just sitting around on a dreary January day," Jensen said. "We wanted something colorful, different - something that would draw a crowd that might not typically come to an art show."

Jensen said they decided to create a party atmosphere. To help set the mood, she and Amos decided to eschew the usual wine reception to open the show. Instead, Jensen said, the catered reception will feature a "girly drink," a raspberry-flavored, mixed drink, and two kegs of microbrewed beers, a chocolate stout and a pale ale.

The public is invited to meet the artists at the free reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 7.

Zizzi will be there to talk about his work - his nature photos and the new subjects he's pursuing.

"I'm doing street scenes. I'm not sure where they're going to take me," he said. "Before, I carried things into the woods or onto farms. Now I'm going down into town, and people are peering at me. I'm kind of shy about it, with people watching me do what I do."

But Zizzi said he'll keep to the basics as he always has.

"I think digital is here to stay. It's the future. But I'm 57 and I'm set in my ways," he said. "(Nowadays, digital) is close to film, but I don't think I can do better with digital."

If you go ...

WHAT: "Eclectico," featuring seven artists

WHERE: Benjamin Art Gallery, 1303 Pennsylnvania Ave., Hagerstown

WHEN: Friday, March 7, through Friday, March 21; artists reception is from 6 to 9 p.m. March 7

COST: Free and open to the public.

CONTACT: 877-797-4775 or go to

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