Saturday, February 12, 2011

Womanhood Celebrated at The Sherman

The Sherman Community Gallery located within The Sherman Theatre in Stroudsburg, PA held an Artists’ Reception on Friday February 11th for an exhibition titled, “Reveries of Form: A Celebration of Women” featuring the work of Photographer Sander Martijn. The reception severed to support the endeavors of the Women’s Leadership Initiative of The United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley. Music for the event was provided by Abby Braman with Kevin Vanderhoof. However, since I had to leave early, I didn’t have the opportunity to experience their performance.

The work displayed was very intriguing and invited each viewer to delve deeply into each piece as many inspired an expansion of what the art of photography can achieve. This was particularly true of a series of photographs titled, “Combustion.” The concept derives from the phenomenon of Spontaneous Human Combustion in which people seem to burst into flames from an internal source.

As the artist notes in his description of the series, this is a urban legend that is unlikely to be true as there may be other reasons for the occurrence such as falling asleep in bed or a comfortable chair with a lit cigarette. However, the concept (according to the description) fascinates the artist and the images depicting his interpretation of the phenomenon instills this fascination into those who view the work.

The series depicts a woman in various stages of becoming incinerated. Yet, these images goes beyond the basic interest in the urban legend as they capture the sense of a light being ignited within the human soul. This flame of self realization grows with each consecutive image until the woman is consumed and purified of all the elements that keeps her from her full potential as a human being. The images not only depicts the subject’s journey to fulfillment but allows us to embrace the realization we can allow the light within us to flourish until we are no longer part of the light but we become the light.

Although the reception attracted a small gathering, the work deserves a visit to The Sherman Gallery by those who would like see some excellent examples of why many consider photography a very meaningful art form. The exhibition continues until April 1st. Due to an error during uploading the photographs I took during the reception, there are no pictures to be posted to accompany this article. In other words, I messed up.

The Sherman Theatre was built in the 1920s and now is equipped to present many of today’s biggest shows offering a full bar along with the sound, comfort, and historic feel of their incredible performance venue. Their next presentations include A night of dance and music from Club 524 on Saturday February 19th, a performance by the band Conditions as part of their Independent Rock Series on Sunday February 20th, a performance by Conspirator featuring Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner of The Disco Biscuitson Saturday March 5th, a performance by Asleep At The Wheel on Thursday March 10th, and The Led Zepplin Experience: Hammer of the Gods on Saturday March 26th. Please Contact The Sherman Theatre at 570-420-2808 or Explore their Website at for more information.

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