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a non-profit gallery for the visual and performing arts

2833-A Hathaway Rd., Richmond, VA 23225
in the Stratford Hills Shopping Center

Gallery hours beginning Saturday, January 22, 2022:
Noon to 4pm, Tuesday - Sunday
Free and Open to the Public
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'Teenage Angst, Hummelstown Fireman's Festival,' by R. Andrew Hoff, 2021, Photography, 20x20

R. Andrew Hoff
Teenage Angst, Hummelstown Fireman's Festival
2021, Photography

'Love and Corndogs, Carlisle Fireman's Fair' by Karen Commings, Photography, 2018, 18x18

Karen Commings
Love and Corndogs, Carlisle Fireman's Fair
2018, Photography

July 22 - August 20, 2022

Karen Commings & R. Andrew Hoff
Carnival Nights


Opening Reception: Friday, July 22, 6:00-9:00pm

Artist Talks: Saturday, July 23, 2:00pm

'Teenage Secrets, Carlisle Fireman's Fair,' by  Karen Commings, 2017, Photography, 16x20

Karen Commings
Teenage Secrets, Carlisle Fireman's Fair
2017, Photography

'Cyborg, Elizabethtown fair' by R. Andrew Hoff, 2021, Photography, 18x18

R. Andrew Hoff
Cyborg, Elizabethtown fair
2021, Photography

Artists' Statement

Edgy, moody, somber or surreal are adjectives that could describe the images included in �It�s Not All Fun and Games,� a photographic montage by Karen Commings and R. Andrew Hoff. As the night wears on, the glare of the fluorescent lights creates a stark landscape in the enveloping darkness. The remaining people and bored carnies become props against the backdrop of shapes, shadows and patterns. To develop the exhibit, Hoff and Commings visited county fairs and community festivals in four states over the course of three years. The facial expressions, postures and attitudes show the tedium of carnival life as the evening lingers on. There are multiple stories in these images left to the imagination. What are the stories they tell you?

Karen Commings

About the artist

Karen Commings is a photographer from Harrisburg, PA. She�s had cameras since the age of ten but didn�t become serious about photography until she purchased her first digital camera and joined a local camera club in 2012. Commings considers herself a street/documentary photographer although she tackles other subjects when the spirit or opportunity moves her. Although Commings processes her images in her home office, she considers her studio the street and, pre-pandemic, traveled to New York City as well as other places of interest several times a year. The images in this exhibit, like most of her street shots, have been converted to black and white to emphasize the emotional content of the photos.

Commings shoots handheld with a Fuji Xt1, Xt3 or X100s. Her photographs have appeared in publications as well as galleries in Pennsylvania, New York City, Texas, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, Maryland, Vermont, California and South Carolina. She received an honorable mention from the 12th Annual Julia Margaret Cameron competition for this project and in 2019 was one of 30 short-listed nominees from the International Women in Photo Association for this series as well.


R. Andrew Hoff

About the artist

Andrew started photography in college. His introduction to photography meant sharing a Konica Rangefinder 35mm camera with another student and processing film in the darkroom. He found the experience unsatisfying. Despite trepidations, he received a Canon AE-1 from his parents as a graduation present. From that point on, photography became a fulfilling adventure. While re-learning photography through family and sports photographs, Andrew took the leap of faith and joined the Harrisburg Camera Club in 1986. For 34 years, Mr. Hoff has been a member while continually honing his photography skills. He started by training himself with finicky B&W infra-red film and slide film. Moving on to a Canon F-1 and an Olympus OM-4 in the mid 80�s, Andrew continued photographing in infra-red and moved to Fuji slide film. He focused extensively on architectural and landscape photography. He continued that work until digital photography made film cameras and processing untenable. In 2008, he grudgingly converted to digital photography.

The digital experience gave him new life as a photographer. He began to expand his vision and do something different. Andrew stopped photographing landscapes as his primary work and spent the next three years photographing abstractly utilizing a learning curve. Since then he has worked in multiple genres of photography. In 2015, Andrew started photographing people by necessity. The challenge of photographing people pushed himself towards building a documentary portfolio based on carnival workers. His current focus has taken him to fairs and carnivals from Maine to Texas.

Andrew currently presents a variety of educational programs for novice through experienced photographers. In addition, he critiques photos and juried images for numerous photographic organizations, conferences and competitions in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland and South Carolina. He has taught photography for children�s photography camps and for adult evening classes. His images have been showcased in exhibition catalogues, solo and group shows, and have been accepted into regional, national and international juried shows. Andrew�s work is in the permanent collection of the Pennsylvania State Museum and the Susquehanna Art Museum as well as in numerous private collections.

Andrew has a degree in Communications-Journalism and resides in York County, Pennsylvania. He is the past president of the Harrisburg Camera Club serving two stints as president and was the developer and catalyst for the annual spring �Light and Creativity� photography conference held in central PA. Under Mr. Hoff�s leadership, innovations and changes to the club were crucial to the clubs� survival, subsequent expansion and commitment to exhibition-quality work during the transition from film to digital.

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