Who does better work, the teachers or the students? In the joint exhibit of teachers’ and students’ “signature” images at Photoworks, let’s call it a draw.
Among the teachers, images by Scott Davis, Frank (Tico) Herrera and Rebecca Drobis stand out. Using faux-vintage toning, Davis photographs an oddly shaped ficus tree in Buenos Aires, with a frenzy of roots coexisting with a trunk oriented at an eccentric, nearly upside-down, diagonal direction. Herrera also uses an old-timey approach to capture trees with an odd diagonal; his image features a series of crowns that slopes inexorably downward. Drobis, one of the few artists in the show to work in color, offers a well-worn swing set set against a foreboding, icy-blue Montana sky; she smartly accentuates the sweeping view by extending the image around the frame on all four sides.
The best student work comes from Brenda Hanning, Saman Michael Far, William Mertens, and Joanne Miller. Hanning captures an oddly textured tree trunk set against a receding background of darker woods; Far offers an eloquent narrative image of a man stepping out of a restaurant into the bright light; Mertens uses blue tinting to highlight a mysterious tableau of two figures looking into a mirror, or perhaps a window; and Miller documents a bird taking off artistically from a humble telephone pole.
Through Jan. 23 at Photoworks, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, Md. Open 1 p.m. to 8 pm Mondays and Sundays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, and any time when a class is underway. That includes most evenings, and many Saturdays and weekdays. To inquire call (301) 634-2274.