Artists featured in the exhibition are:
Thomas Birtwistle
John Chervinsky
Jim Dow
Andy Freeberg
Cynthia Greig
Pamela Ellis Hawkes
Dave Jordano
Oscar Palacio
Christopher Sims

Thomas Birtwistle makes photographs at state fairs in Maine. Though the origins of the county fair can be traced back centuries, Birtwistle portrays the subject with a decidedly 21st-century inflection. His images explore the dynamic intersection between subject and time, the real and the surreal with an offbeat and charming strangeness. Largely absent of festive attendees, his photographs are penetrating gazes at the colorful visual vocabulary of the fair: ranging from garish stuffed animal prizes, concession stands, to Osama Bin Laden and Sadam Hussein cans riddled with bullet holes.

John Chervinsky’s black and white photographs made in the attic studio of are entitled Experiments in Perspective. His compelling photographs explore visual perception and conflicts between reason and belief. Staged objects interact with precise, mathematical drawings and dashed lines of chalk applied to the dark surface of two blackboards placed at a perpendicular angle. By focusing the camera on the meeting point of the chalkboards, Chervinsky plays with perspective and illusion, an artistic approach informed by his background in physics, chemistry, and materials science.



Jim Dow
explains "…My interest in photography centers on its capacity for exact description. . . I use photography to try to record the manifestations of human ingenuity and spirit still remaining in our country's everyday landscape." Dow's interest in those places where people enact their everyday rituals, from the barbershop to the baseball park, has guided the path of his photographic career. Magnificently capturing the presence of America's beloved baseball stadiums, his images have been described as having the "grandeur and loneliness of ancient ruins," Jim’s work has been cherished for documenting the disappearing uniqueness of America's playing fields. Dow is concerned with capturing "human ingenuity and spirit" in endangered regional traditions.

It is with slight uncertainty that viewers approach the color photographs of Cynthia Greig. Her Representation series are sometimes mistaken as drawings or illustrations. Her compositions present, in her words, “photographic documents of three-dimensional drawings.” Greig selects objects ranging from coffee cups to ice cream cones to books, conceals their existing surface with white paint,and then outlines the objects with a thin black line. She then places the objects on a white seamless and photographs the arrangement with a large format view camera. The result is a conceptual challenge to conventional approaches of representing and categorizing objects and art.


Comfortably seated in cavernous galleries installed with priceless paintings in gilded frames, the female figures in Andy Freeberg’s Guardians series are the guards assigned to protecting the collections of Russia’s most esteemed museums. Wearing orthopedic shoes and colorful jackets and sweaters, these grandmotherly figures have protectively and, to our eyes, aesthetically formed strong relationships with the artworks hanging nearby through their mannerisms, posture, and clothing. The resulting photographs vividly document these uncanny similarities between the female guards and the spaces in which they sit each day. As Clifford Levy states in the introduction to the Guardians monograph, “These guardians are not only visible, but exert a powerful hold over the viewer, in some sense helping to bring the art to life.”

Pamela Ellis Hawkes makes photographs of complicated still life arrangements that resist clear-cut visual interpretation. This series of images carefully created in her studio are entitled Surrogate Reality. Her compositions, set against a rich black background, are occupied by both two and three-dimensional objects. Pamela makes flat photographic reproductions of etchings and prints depicting the actors in her still life drama including various fruits, flowers, fish, and china. These flat 2-D stand-ins rest atop actual tables and interact with other real 3-D objects in the unfolding drama set before her view camera.

Dave Jordano has been making images of the abandoned Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Illinois, the largest single military building in the United States before the construction of the Pentagon. The base closure a decade ago, was a catalyst for the economic decline suffered by Rantoul and the surrounding region. Jordano’s images of its steady decay and deterioration serve as a compelling illustration of the United States’ involvement with international peace-keeping efforts and the ways in which our standing as an esteemed world power has been thus affected.

Oscar Palacio’s
photographs are culled from his ongoing series entitled History Re-Visited. Palacio reveals the beautiful and enigmatic disparity that often exists between the monumental historical events that make a site important and what we actually find there.


Christopher Sims, with remarkable access to our military bases, has been working on a series entitled Theater of War. Sims makes photographs within fictitious Iraqi and Afghan villages on the training grounds of U.S. Army bases, places largely unknown to most Americans. The villages are situated in the deep forests of North Carolina and Louisiana, and in a great expanse of desert near Death Valley in California. Each base features clusters of villages spread out over thousands of acres. The villages are places of fantastic imagination and serve as a strange and poignant training station for people heading off to war.


The curator of the exhibition, Dana Salvo, is a Guggenheim Fellow and the author of Home Altars of Mexico. He and Dawn Southworth are the owners of Clark Gallery in neighboring Lincoln, MA, Clark Gallery is one of New England's leading art galleries and a member of the Boston Art Dealers Association. The gallery exhibits contemporary art in all media by emerging, mid-career and established artists from the Northeast and nationally.


Artwork credit:
Cynthia Greig, Representation #69 (Globe),
24"x 20", C-Type Color Photograph

Main Galleries

June 12-August 12, 2010
Seeing is Believing

Curated by Dana Salvo, Clark Gallery

The Concord Art Association is honored to present the exhibition, Seeing is Believing, from June 12 – August 12, 2010. All are welcome to join the artists for a reception on Thursday, June 17,
from 6-8pm.

Seeing is Believing features nine artists employing photography as a tool to trace the arc of different realities, memory and the various meanings associated with a sense of time, place or identity.


visit the online Exhibition