The month of July thus far has been little more than a sweltering blur of three-digit temperatures for St. Louisans, but “Tides of Joy,” one of two new shows that opened Friday evening at Framations, kicked off the weekend with a whisper of cool in spite of the broiling heat.
When new shows open at Framations, it’s hard to resist a visit, even when the thermometer refuses to drop below 105 degrees. Between their focus on first-rate exhibits by established artists and their dedication to providing venues for emerging artists, gallery owners Amy Wilson and Sarah Merideth consistently deliver shows that are distinctive and original. This month’s show in Gallery Two, “Tides of Joy, Photography by Theresa Scott," brought in a hint of cooler climes with its images of water, mist, sand, and shade.
Theresa Scott is a landscape photographer in the manner that John Singer Sargent is a portrait painter—in a grand way. Scott admittedly captures happy moments, whether a hike down an ancient Hawaiian crater or a magnificent shoreline from a nearby cliff, and there is something transcendent about each of her images that transports the viewer beyond where they are standing to a place where they would rather be. For Scott, each image has a story and a memory, frozen in time. “I have been given a gift to capture special moments in time that I love to pass on in my photos,” Scott says in her artist’s statement. “Those special moments may be the beautiful landscapes of the west coast or the tropics.”
Somehow, the joy that Scott describes in her work is alive in her lens as well, and translates to the final image. For all the beauty, grandeur, and yes, even heft, of her subject matter, the viewer walks away feeling decidedly lighter of heart as a result of the experience.
The only flaw in Scott’s otherwise impeccably staged show is the rather lifeless framing technique, which does little to enhance her photographs. Fortunately, the images are strong enough to make an impact in spite of the identical, nondescript frames, which do add a sense of coherence to the exhibit as a whole and may be why the artist opted for practicality. That said, unframed prints are available for immediate purchase, in addition to the framed prints in the show.
Pablo Picasso once said that “art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life,” and this metaphor comes alive in the work of Theresa Scott. And even when the thermometer sticks in the triple digits, Scott's art is a cooling balm for the soul.
“Tides of Joy Photography by Theresa Scott” will remain on display at the Framations Custom Framing and Fine Art Gallery until August 9, 2012. Located at 218 N. Main St. in historic St. Charles, Framations is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12–3.
© M.T.Erickson 2012