DeSantos Gallery Presents: Memory

DeSantos Gallery is proud to present three exceptional Photographic artists at a special exhibit celebrating a New Year entitled “Memory”.  The exhibition will highlight selected sets from notable artists Francesca Bontempi, Jennifer F. Schlesinger, and Lori Vrba.  The exhibition opens January 15th, 2011 and will end February 12 th, 2011.  DeSantos Gallery invites you to a special reception and a first-hand viewing on Saturday January 15th, 2011 from 5:30PM to 8:00PM on the first floor of the gallery located at 1724 Richmond Avenue, Houston Texas.

DeSantos Gallery was selected to review photographer portfolios for the prestigious FotoFest 2010 Biennial and it was during reviews that Gemma DeSantos, the gallery Director, decided to invite Bontempi, Schlesinger and Vrba to exhibit at the Gallery.  In the first opening of 2011, the DeSantos Gallery combines these artists’ most recent sets within a united theme of a “Memory”.  Each artist’s series displays a traditional look and style, while also evoking a more contemporary and modern feeling.  The sets enhance each other while simultaneously highlighting the different styles of the artists.  The pieces of the 3 different artists are pulled together by their shared visions of memories: of people, objects, youth.

“We are passionate about art and photographic art here at DeSantos and wanted to celebrate our success in bringing great artists to Houston with a theme that took a look back, and since photographic art is still sometimes looked at as a young medium and our Gallery features a majority of Contemporary pieces – we wanted to begin the year with an exhibit that brought that feeling of moving forward and the excitement of what is still to come for the medium also.” Explains Gemma DeSantos around how she chose the theme and collections for this unique exhibit.

About the Artists

Francesca Bontempi grew up in Italy and received her M.F.A. degree from the Roman School of Photography in 2004 and her BA in Photography and Cinema from the First University of Rome in 2007.  She has mentored under photographic greats including Ernesto Bazan and Gianni Berengo Gardin, and currently holds a position at La Casa Del Quartiere in Rome as a Photography Professor.  Her recent work includes both more contemporary Giclee prints with her series Sofia and the Others and more traditional Silver Gelatin prints as in her Time Tables series.

Jennifer F. Schlesinger was raised in Connecticut and received her B.A. in Photography and Journalism from the College of Santa Fe in 1998.  She has several years of experience as a professor with photography programs including the CSF Marion Center for Photographic Arts and the SITE Santa Fe Contemporary Art Museum.  She has won numerous awards for her work in photography and her work has been featured in several print journals.  Her most recent collection Object Diaspora is a series of toned silver gelatin prints that were photographed using a pinhole camera.   Schlesinger experiments with a long exposure and lots of light and movement to try and capture the “spirit” or Memory of the items’ previous owners.

Lori Vrba is a native Texan and studied at the Glassell School of Art located here in Houston Texas.  Her photographs are shot using an old Hasselblad and then developed by hand in her traditional home darkroom where she does all of the processing, printing and toning herself.  She uses a unique toning solution consisting of a heavy dilution of selenium and tea to bring out the personality and detail of her artwork.  Her work has been featured around the globe, including at the 2009 Lishui Photo Festival in China, Foto 8 Summer Show in London and most recently in a very unique custom installation of her recent Piano Farm silver and toned gelatin print series in New Orleans in 2010.