February 25 - April 2, 2016

Opening reception with the artists Saturday,February 27 5 - 8 pm


555 Gallery is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition New Color Messages

In this exhibition the drab dead of Boston winter meets glorious color in new work by photographers Patty Carroll, Mary Ellen Strom, Sarah Szwajkos, Jeffrey Heyne and Sakura Kelley.

Each artist has developed diverse projects, but all share with us an undeniable message about color that is an unexpected side effect of their latest work.

Patty Carroll: Anonymous Women: Draped     The series of photographs, Anonymous
Women: Draped
describes becoming the dwelling itself, experiencing the dichotomy of domesticity. The home is a place of comfort but can also be camouflage for individual identity when idealized decor becomes an obsession, or indication of position or status.

“Staying home” is a state that some women also aspire to as a place of power, while others abhor it because of its perceived prison-like atmosphere.

“This series has references to draped statues from the Renaissance, nuns in habits, women wearing the burka, the Virgin Mary, priests’ and judges’ robes, ancient Greek and Roman dress, among others. The series is also a small tribute to Scarlett O’Hara, who, undaunted by wars, pulled down her drapery to fashion a beautiful gown, and would do anything to keep her home, Tara. Hopefully, bringing some humor to the pathos.” - PC

Patty Carroll has her BFA from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in Graphic Design, and her Master of Science in Photography from the Institute of Design at IIT, Chicago. Since leaving graduate school in 1972 she has taught photography continuously at the university level. Until 2014 Patty was Adjunct Full Professor at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has taught at Columbia College in Chicago, the Institute of Design at IIT and the Royal College of Art. She is the photographic author of four books. 

View Elin Spring's review HERE.

Mary Ellen Strom: Tree Lines
Tree Lines is a collection of 22 photographic portraits of painted trees. Using these photographs, Strom has created seven vertical line drawings. These three to ten-foot-tall line drawings generate the video color bar spectrum. The varying lengths produce an exploratory table of elongated or truncated time.

Mary Ellen Strom’s works unearth submerged narratives in the environment, history, and in cultural discourse. Working primarily in video, Strom uses the language(s) of drawing, painting, photography, sculpture and dance. These media are used to generate an embodied understanding of place by utilizing movement, signs, and metaphors. Strom’s recent solo exhibition, “Standby Snow” was presented by Longhouse Projects Gallery, NYC in 2014. Strom has participated in residencies including PS1/MoMA, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the International Studio and Curatorial Program, NYC, the Headlands Center for the Arts, Bellagio Center Lake Como, Italy funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, the Liguria Center for Arts and Humanities, Bogliasco, Italy. 

Originally from Butte, Montana, Strom maintains a studio in Boston and often pursues fieldwork in the American West. Strom is the Director of the Master of Fine Arts Program at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Jeffrey Heyne: Boston Storm Clouds
Jeffrey Heyne presents images of a very familiar subject consciously adding color to transcend the everyday into a dramatic emotional experience. During the duration of a summer weather pattern, hot and humid evening weather conditions over Boston created large, violent and quickly moving thunderstorms. As if on cue at 5pm, the afternoon cumulus clouds collected and welled upwards creating giant multiple thunder cells, and the city was pummeled with hail, rain, and lighting.

While on the roof of his studio building Heyne dodged between episodes of hail, rain and lighting trying to capture the rawness of the storm. While processing the images Heyne shifted the color balance, and the more he pushed and altered the colors, the more he felt the same primordial sense that overcame him while he was making the photographs. “It seems I was tapping into a primitive atavistic feeling of pre-language, and color had the only words that would speak to me.” –JH

Born and raised in Bristol, Connecticut, Jeffrey Heyne wanted to become a scientist or an artist. His father wanted him to learn a trade. Instead he became an architect, but he’s always had a camera. From the beginning Heyne has been intrigued with accidental or unconscious beauty and much of his early work focused on portraying industrial architecture in and heroic light. 

For the last twenty years, his photography work has been exhibited throughout the country and is represented in the collections of the Boston Public Library, Fidelity Investments, Boston Properties, Marriott Inns, and Compaq Computers.

Sarah Szwajkos: Liminal
Sarah Szwajkos’s blue sky series takes the use of color to its simplest elements, yet creates a dramatic and provoking image through changes in density, saturation and hue. 

After years of making images for clients, Sarah Szwajkos had started to feel like she no longer knew what kinds of pictures she would make if left to her own devices. In the fall of 2015 she started climbing up a certain hill, over and over again, following an instinct that it would lead to this new body of work, Liminal. Looking at the work made, she would have never predicted that the photographs would look as they do. 

“I make a lot of pictures on these walks that, while often simple, formal and spare, could easily be recognized and described as landscape photographs. But these photographs? I like to think of them as pictures of everything and nothing. I’ve heard it said that meditation is the practice of starting over, over and over again. Buddhists call it practicing beginner’s mind.” -SS

Sarah Szwajkos is a fine art and commercial photographer based in Midcoast Maine. Her work for clients grew out of her fine art project Personal Space, and focuses on architecture, interior and lifestyle imagery. A native of Philadelphia, Sarah studied in England, France and Italy. She graduated from Smith College with a double major in Studio Art and Italian. Her artist's book Memento was inspired by her time studying Italian poetry in Florence.

Sakura Kelley: Take Wing and Tiny Gay Rothkos
Sakura Kelley’s Take Wing is the literal record of an elaborate, iconic object that she responded to in her day to day observations. The screen, beloved enough to hang in the hallways of Brown University, yet scarred from perhaps some careless accident, was photographed in situ when it aroused her interest in cultural identity and inanimate things that take on the body form. Kelley weaves disparate experiences and images into works that create a visual dialog with one another. Her work captures precious moments of fragility, violence, vulnerability; events seemingly meaningless that function as a trigger for memories outside of our conscious understanding.

In Tiny Gay Rothkos Kelley pays homage to two of the last century’s great artists: Mark Rothko and Felix Gonzalez-Torres by presenting us with large scale scanned images from tiny collages made from paper, scraps, paintings and drawings. The pieces often invoke a Japanese aesthetic: simple, clean and organized, with a dash of calculated off-kilteredness. In a diminutive installation she invites us to take what we want of the endlessly reproduced tiny works of art stacked in piles for the visitor’s selections.

Kelley is a 2016 MFA Candidate at Rhode Island School of Design. She has exhibited in Quezon City, Philippines, Yokohama, Japan, San Francisco and Santa Cruz, California, and is the recipient of numerous academic scholarships and artist’s residencies.

John Rizzo
Gallery 555 is pleased to welcome John Anthony Rizzo as Consulting Curator

John recently returned to Boston after 15 years in Portland, Oregon where he ran a successful photography studio and 11 years in Italy where he turned his attention to visual storytelling and photography driven book projects. 

In Portland John owned Ars Nova Gallery and Camera Obscura Gallery. Both galleries earned acclaim from the press:
“Ars Nova is one of those galleries that blows my mind month after month. It always seems like the quality of the art trumped everything.”
Randy Gragg – Art critic Oregonian

His assignments explore lifestyle themes for advertising and editorial clients worldwide. John has an eye for both commercial and fine art having received both a Massachusetts Arts & Humanities and a National Endowment of the Arts grant. He has had group and individual photography shows, books and awards. John continues to take advertising, editorial and commercial assignments, but on a more selective basis to allow him to expand his growing communication arts consulting work which includes talent selection, video direction and editing supervision. 


From the series  Anonymous Women (Draped)  by Patty Carroll

From the series Anonymous Women (Draped) by Patty Carroll

555 Gallery in South Boston strikes back at winter with its uplifting New Color Messages, a group show flaunting the flamboyant color photographs of Mary Ellen Strom (feature image), Patty Carroll, Jeffrey Heyne, Sakura Kelley and Sarah Szwajkos (who will be featured in a special event on March 12th).