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Juanita Berge | Philly Creative Guide Event Reporter

American Society of Media Photographers ::
Focus Philadelphia
by Juanita Berge, 1 Feb 2008

ASMP/Philadelphia is a creative resource of professional photographers dedicated to providing support to their members and the creative community through education and communication.

For more information on Focus Philadelphia and ASMP please visit

This past January 24th the American Society of Media Photographers held their 7th Annual Juried Exhibition. This photographic exploration of the city and its neighborhoods is entitled Focus Philadelphia, an exhibit that drew a steady stream of patrons throughout the evening. Young and old alike passed through the gallery that overlooked Solmssen Court at the UArts' CBS Auditorium. A jazz combo played and provided a mellow background ambiance to the show. The Bjarni McKenna Trio provided the music. The opening night reception was quite a successful kick-off to the show, which runs January 24th through February 12th.

American Society of Media Photographers :: Focus Philadelphia

The ASMP Philadelphia show began in 2000, out of a desire to create a time capsule of Philadelphia's neighborhoods at the turn of the millennium. It has grown up and out from there to include not just Philadelphia's neighborhoods, but some focus of Philadelphia that catches the photographer's eye. John Welsh, board member, had this to say, "We usually focus on neighborhoods in Philadelphia as the subject of the show. This new 'focus' has brought out a different kind of photographer. In the past, the photos have been more photojournalistic in feel. These are not. Also, something new this year are the artists statements. This is our first year doing this and the artist statements put the photos in perspective for you."

Photographers represented there are Karen Carey, Amanda Stevenson Lupke, Anthony Wood, Anthony Sinagoga, John Welsh, Lillian Perez, Ernest Pappas, Ed Wheeler, Addison Geary, Cie Stroud, Suzanne Savaria, Dave Moser, Ashley Baker, Christopher Weger, Eileen Kennedy, Dan Naylor, John Wynn, Bruce Kravetz, Janette McVey, Matthew Romano and Sarah Bones.

American Society of Media Photographers :: Focus Philadelphia

"This has been our best show yet," says Anthony Sinagoga, chair of this year's Focus Philadelphia exhibition. This feeling was echoed by several others that night. "In our past shows the photographers have been given a neighborhood to cover, whether they wanted that neighborhood or not. This year there were no restrictions. We just asked them to come up with a theme. This has resulted in more passionate photographs, and that results in a stronger show. This new course we took freed people up to make better pictures in the end."

Among the more striking images were Amanda Stevenson Lupke's "Preparations" and "Rio Backstage." There is a real immediacy to these. Anthony Wood's girl in polka dots. Lillian Perez's "Phantom." Ernest Pappas' "Philadelphia Liberty #2." It feels as though you've stepped into the action. Suzanne Savaria's "Valley Green." A diaphanous light permeates her photo. Dave Moser's "Elmer #46." Christopher Weger's "Up and Over." It's time-sequenced shots convey great action. And Bruce Kravetz's "Sabrina." Full of introspective pathos. The show is a good one. Attend if you can. It does not disappoint.

American Society of Media Photographers :: Focus Philadelphia

The show was judged by five people in the industry with "Brian #154" by Dave Moser winning Best of Show. But one of Sinagoga's favorite works shown that evening was Bruce Kravetz's series Survivors. Kravetz, in attendance that night, is relatively new to the field of photography, having been in it only two years. Kravetz spent his life and career in other pursuits. A real exception to the rule for this exhibition. It was his first juried show.

For more information on Focus Philadelphia and ASMP please see

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