Snap! Downtown’s Summer/Fall Exhibition features two shows: Surroundings and Florida Showcase 2018. Surroundings presents the photographic works of Lauren Mitchell, James Hand and Jacob Bailes. Florida Showcase 2018 is a juried exhibit of art and photography by local artists, submitted through Snap’s call for entries.

Surroundings is an atmospheric, exploratory and almost otherworldly display. Placed on separate walls, each photographer’s work possesses a unique style that speaks for itself. Despite the visual contrasts, the common thread running through these works is the strong sense of place. Transporting the viewer to the environment pictured, these works transcend time and space but remain recognizable and relatable. Lauren Mitchell exposes Florida as a tropical paradise filled with sunbathers, oranges and tourists. James Hand finds meaning in getting lost in everyday places that are overlooked in the daily humdrum. Jacob Bailes takes calm views of nature and captures them in a dream-like manner. The surroundings in their photographs manage to evoke all five senses, and take the viewer on multiple journeys of beauty, wonder, and life itself.

Past the main gallery is a long hallway that leads to two more galleries where Florida Showcase 2018 is on view. This show consists of a variety of works that, while there’s no apparent theme, are displayed cohesively, either sorted by subject or grouped by color. One element that resonates among all of these artworks is a sense of community. Some works take the viewer to an alternate reality, like Kristin Hart’s Joshua Tree-Rose, California, which depicts a desert landscape in unnatural coloring. Other works stare directly at the viewer, like Crummy Gummy’s Jordan portrait, where the subject stares out blankly but draws the viewer in, to the point of reflection.

As a whole, Summer/Fall Exhibition presents an engaging alternate view of reality that anyone can relate to.

This article is by Amanda Bertizlian, who is a contributing writer for ArtScene Press.
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