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Spring Preview Opening At Tulla Booth Gallery

Originally Posted: April 26, 2009

Colin M. Graham

Kim Boulukos enjoys a visit with Tulla Booth at the opening night reception in Sag Harbor. Photos by Colin M. Graham

Sag Harbor - Spring was certainly in the air this past Saturday night. Main Street in Sag Harbor was busier than it has been in months as people milled in and out of the Tulla Booth Gallery where the opening of her Spring Preview show was taking place. "It's basically a preview of what we're going to be showing this summer," said Booth. "We have a number of great artists on display tonight; Christine Matthai, Blair Seagram, Susan P. Meisel, Jane Martin, Philippe Cheng and Philip Ross Munro, it's pretty exciting. And next month, Blair Seagram is going to be having a solo show here of her new work."

Barbara and Steve Lombert enjoy the evening.

The majority of the photographs on display Saturday night worked to let the viewer know that summer was in fact on its way, with depictions of beautiful beach scenes as in Matthai's work, crisp seascapes by Meisel, blurred abstractions of coast lines by Cheng and Seagram's evocative panoramas and shots of surfers frozen on the face of a breaking wave.

Matthai, whose beach images were of interest because of their unique colors the parts of the pictures looked as if they had been overexposed, which provided a high level of contrast between the washed out white background and the bright colors of umbrellas, bathing suits and beach towels. "I take pictures by the beach; this series is from me walking for four months on the beaches of L.A. looking for my involuntary models," recalled Matthai. "I didn't shoot these shots overexposed. Once I take them I play around with the images on my computer until I get them the way that I like; I wanted them to look like paintings. I don't want to get caught up in technique, I really just want to see, shoot and get the image."

Another artist at the reception that night whose work is strongly involved with the beach, sea, and those who frequent the water's edge, was Blair Seagram. Seagram's panoramic shots are actually compositions of several images taken separately that she then combines into one shot. "The number of photographs I end up using really depends," she said. "It could go as many as 12 but sometimes I use less. Now I'm actually using less because I'm trying to give the panoramas more vertical depth."

A new work by artist Susan P. Meisel was show at opening reception on Saturday.

Unlike some other artists, Seagram doesn't use a stitching program to automatically blend her photos into one; "I allow photoshop to merge the pictures together enough just to get them on the canvas, but I put the photos where I want them and do whatever I have to do to make them into the image I'm looking to make. One thing I don't do is change my pictures. Someone once said I take pictures to see how they look, I'm not trying to take a bunch of pictures and make a new picture out of them, I'm trying to capture a moment as I see it. You kind of learn as you're going along, so what I did last year is going to be totally different from what I'm doing now, which people will see in my show next month."

If this was only a preview of what we can expect from Tulla Booth this summer, this is bound to be a banner year for Booth and her artists.

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