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“photoArt by Loie”--- G. Loie Grossmann’s art, which combines photography, computer graphics, drawing and painting will be featured.
phone: 215-438-3044 (please leave message)
Award-winning photographer G. Loie Grossmann fell in love with the medium as an undergraduate at Penn State. In recent years that love and her technical mastery have expressed themselves in unique works of art --- innovative combinations of media of her own creation called photoArt. Some of the results are fantastical views of Manayunk and Philadelphia; studies of the vintage and old-fashioned in the modern world; and sensual, vivid flowers. Her exhibition at the Manayunk Art Center (MAC) will include “straight” photographs; reconfigured photographic images printed on art paper and canvas; and photographic images enhanced with painting. How she has reached the lode of creative treasure she is now mining is a story of more than thirty years of academic training, working in photography and photojournalism and independent study.
Grossmann was born in Philadelphia and now resides in Blue Bell Hill, a neighborhood near Roxborough where she grew up and where her parents owned and operated Grace Laboratories, a medical facility on Ridge Avenue, from 1946 to 1984. They gave her a camera as a present when she was eight years old, which evidently “planted a seed.” She attended Quaker schools from kindergarten through twelfth grade, first at the Greene Street Friends School and then at Friends Central, where she met husband-to-be, David Haugaard, who recently became a Board member at MAC.
Grossmann earned her B.A. in Journalism /News Writing, with a concentration in Photojournalism at Pennsylvania State University. Grossmann studied review writing and in-depth journalism for her major but at the same time immersed herself in the darkroom. In the mid-1970s at Penn State her photography was exhibited in three shows at the Kern Gallery, including a solo show about the Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
After graduation in 1976, Grossmann, along with many recent graduates, struggled with the difficult job market. She moved to New York, found some custom darkroom work and took advantage of the city’s cultural treasures --- independently studying the photography and painting of such masters as Stieglitz, Monet and Georgia O’Keefe. On returning to Philadelphia, some of her photographs were published in the Old City Digest and, starting in 1979, more than thirty of her pictures were featured in Clark DeLeon’s column in the Philadelphia Inquirer. For more than two years she was a freelancer with the Philadelphia Daily News. After she won the Best Of Show prize in the annual Philadelphia Press Photographers Competition for a photograph of the Vietnam Wall Memorial in Washington, D.C., the Daily News hired her as a staff photographer. More awards followed, including a First Place for National News Picture Story presented by the University of Missouri for her nine-image study of the second Vietnam War Memorial entitled “The Longest War”. The New Jersey Press Photography Association named her New Jersey Photographer of the Year in 1984, 1988 and 1990.
Grossmann was on the staff of the Daily News from 1983 through 1997, during which time the newspaper eliminated its darkroom process in favor of a computerized system. She taught herself to use Macintosh Photoshop and this combined with a class she’d taken about the internet were part of what spurred her to enter a Masters Degree program in Instructional Technology And Multi-Media at Philadelphia College Of Textiles And Science, which became Philadelphia University. In 1998 she received her Masters Degree and launched her own business, Philly New Media, which designs, "attractive web sites that are easy to navigate." She was inspired in part by the idea that individuals could be empowered by the internet and that web design was a way of helping them express themselves to a wide audience that had previously been available only to corporations.
Devoting herself to Philly New Media, Grossmann had to take something of a hiatus from photography. Then, a trip to California in 2003 reinvigorated her devotion to the art and, applying her fluency with the computer graphics programs "Adobe Photoshop” and “Corel Painter”, she began to create “photoArt.” An archival printer that produces long-lasting images on art paper and canvas up to 17” wide (and as long as desired) and a Wacom tablet that allows the artist to draw directly on the computer screen are among the tools that facilitate her process. Thus, photographic images can be manipulated, drawn on and then printed out and, in some cases, have paint applied to them.
Some works ---“Bob’s Diner”, “Lily”, “Jeans On A Clothesline”--- are reminiscent of super-realism, while others like “Manayunk View” reveal an Impressionist sensibility. In pictures such as her portrait of “Mick Jagger” and “Sun Sets On Namico“ the colors and placement of subjects in surroundings are surreal. The subjects of the art works are representational, but show us the recognizable in ways that neither “pure” photography nor painting nor drawing can. Of the methods she uses in her art, Grossmann says, ”The process varies as I observe what seems most likely to work with an individual image. These images are fun to make, and I hope they bring joy to my viewers as well. I am part of a growing community of digital-based artists, although I am fairly sure my specific process with the designation of photoArt is unique”.
Press release by David P. Kozinski