Photo exhibit captures human connection

Senior photography majors Kim Toth and Ethan Bermudez discuss their work at the opening reception of the “PUSH and PULL” exhibition April 25 in the Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography. They are the two featured artists in the photography department’s senior exhibition, which runs through June 30. / photo by Olivia Modarelli
Senior photography majors Kim Toth and Ethan Bermudez discuss their work at the opening reception of the “Push and Pull” exhibition April 25 in the Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography. They are the two featured artists in the photography department’s senior exhibition, which runs through June 30. / photo by Olivia Modarelli

Anisa Salazar
Staff Writer

“Push and Pull,” a senior photo exhibition featuring the work of senior photography majors Kim Toth and Ethan Bermudez, captures the dynamics and complexities in human relationships and connections. 

The exhibition on display in the Carlson Gallery of Photography in Miller Hall  kicked off with a reception April 25. It runs in the gallery through June 30.

Toth’s work is an abstract display of colorful images using lumen prints. She was able to capture the images by placing flowers on top of photo-sensitive paper and then glass on top of that. After leaving them out in the sun, condensation from the flowers collected on the glass. Using a macro lens is what allowed guests to see such a close up image. 

With help from adjunct professor of photography Fred Brashear Jr., two of Toth’s photos were displayed in light boxes.

Kim Toth discusses her work with Citrus College photography professor Amanda Keller Konya at the opening reception of the “Push and Pull” senior thesis exhibition April 25 in the Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography. The exhibit runs through June 30. / photo by Olivia Modarelli

“When I was making the images I knew it would be interesting to see them lit up from behind,” Toth said. “The paper I chose for the ones that aren’t in light boxes are on metallic paper so it gives a more shiny look and ties them back to it being under glass.”

Bermudez’s work was a series of stills he had chosen from his film. When walking down the hallway of the gallery, the stills are chronologically in the same order as the scenes in the film. After shooting and going through to select all the images he wanted, there were about 100 stills to choose from, Bermudez said.  

“When it got down to the nitty-gritty, I wanted to be able to have the viewer be accessible to the relationship of the couple and I think that was most important to me,” Bermudez said. “There are many different moments that I could have included, but ultimately I just wanted it to be about the core of that relationship and encapsulate their romance.”

Having helped on past installations, Brashear found this one unique to others.

“This is the first, that I’ve seen, where we didn’t use plexiglass,” Brashear said. “We heat-mounted these. This exhibit is completely different from past exhibits where we just had normal photographic paper against the wall, with plexiglass and things like that, so this one is a little bit different in that regard.”

Maria Blanco and Armando Bermudez, the grandmother and father of senior photography major Ethan Bermudez, admire his work April 25 in the Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography. Bermudez and senior photography major Kim Toth are exhibiting their work in the “Push and Pull” senior thesis exhibition, which runs through June 30. / photo by Olivia Modarelli

Early on there was a concern that because the two styles of photography were so different that they wouldn’t work together, Toth said. They then realized that because of their differences, that is what really complemented each other and conveyed the push and pull aspect. 

“I really enjoyed how different each of their works were,” Karina Gonzalez, freshman criminology major, said. “One was more thought-provoking, while with the other I was able to follow the story to the end and see how the relationship developed.”

While Toth’s work left guests completely up to their own interpretation of relationships, Bermudez’s series of photos allowed people to follow a couple’s relationship journey. 

“The relationship is very in your face so you kind of have to interpret it, or take in the storyline for what it is,” Bermudez said. “Everyone has their own experiences in relationships, so I feel like the interpretation of the situation is accessible to a lot of people. The interpretation for how things played out is more left open to the viewer on the relationship and less on the grand concept of it all.”

The Carlson Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Anisa Salazar can be reached at anisa.salazar@laverne.edu.

Sophomore photography majors Liberty Garcia, Mia Byington and Vicente Rodriguez examine Ethan Bermudez’s work at the opening reception of the “Push and Pull” senior thesis exhibition April 25 in the Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography. The exhibit features the work of Bermudez and Kim Toth. / photo by Olivia Modarelli

Olivia Modarelli, a senior journalism major with a concentration in print-online journalism, is a staff photographer for the Campus Times. She previously served as a staff writer and copy editor.

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