Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.


Abstract Photography:
More Than Meets Your Eyes

(11/1) Of all the different photographic forms, Abstract photography is one of the most interesting and diverse. It provides a visual language of it’s own which is left open to interpretation. Three central Pennsylvania photographers each bring their own abstract photographic language to a show, developed by Americas’ Arts, at The Blue Parrot Bistro in Gettysburg. Opening First Friday, November 2nd the exhibit features all new work by Nanette Hatzes, Casey Martin, and Debra Bartl.

Americas’ Arts owner, Larry Knutson, recalls that "someone once said that the difference between abstract photography and traditional photography is this: ‘traditional photography has a subject, while abstract photography is about pure form.’ That may often be the case," Knutson says, "but I believe that like any so-called good photograph, an abstract one should only require a few seconds for the viewer’s eyes to be directed to it’s most important elements. Pure form or not, those elements trigger an emotional response, even in the case of a totally abstract image. I believe that the photographs in this show invite you to look at them, examine them, and then create something beyond what your eyes initially see."

Many people are familiar with the unique photographic portraiture of award winning photographer Nanette Hatzes. Both her Goddess Project (2002) and Faces of Burundi (2006) have been acclaimed widely, resulting in numerous awards including the 2006 first place for color portraits at the Washington County Fine Art Museum’s 74th Annual Photo Salon. However, at this year’s Adams County Arts Council’s juried Fine Art Show, it wasn’t one of Nanette’s portraits that netted her the second place award. "She produced a piece for that show that had everyone, including juror Scott Schweigert of Lebanon Valley College, approaching it as if it were an abstract painting" Knutson explains. "She created an abstract piece that by its very nature not only transcended the subject, but the medium as well." That award winning piece, along with seven others by Hatzes, will be offered in the Blue Parrot show.

Photographer Casey Martin will participate in his second show with Americas’ Arts. Knutson says that while "some of Casey’s abstract photographs explore color, form, and texture, others seem wonderfully obsessed with light." Martin, whose work has been previously juried into Pennsylvania’s annual Art of the State exhibition, will also have photographs featured this month in the Savannah College of Art & Design alumni magazine.

Chambersburg’s Debra Bartl chooses the forms that nature provides to create her abstract images. "We’ve shown a few pieces by Deb before and people have always found her photographs of leaves to be both inviting and intriguing," Knutson says. "I think that her photographs provide a good jumping off place for this abstract show. Her leaf studies offer familiar, subtle metaphors relating to different aspects of life."

The More Than Meets Your Eyes abstract photography exhibit opens First Friday, November 2nd, at the Blue Parrot Bistro on 35 Chambersburg Street in Gettysburg. It will continue through the first week of January. For further information, contact Americas’ Arts at (717)-677-7514 or

Read other articles on Gettysburg