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On the Bright Side

June 5, 2014

'Stories & Sounds' leap from objects, images at gallery

One artist is a photographer whose evocative images of musicians in performance gives viewers a front row seat at the concert. The other creates three-dimensional wall hangings with unusual old objects he’s gleaned from foraging around at flea markets, store close-outs and garage sales.

The common denominator of their eclectic creativity is that both Catherine Sebastian and Lenny Kislin are gifted tellers of narratives through their eye-catching art.

Samples of each of their work have been bundled together for an exhibit called Images & Objects, Stories & Sounds being held at the at the Orphic Gallery in Roxbury through June 29.

Sebastian and Kislin are both slated to be in attendance for an artist’s reception that will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the gallery, located inside the Roxbury Corner Store at 53525 State Highway 30.

Sebastian, with four decades of experience as a photographer, said she sees herself as being in a highly privileged position when she photographs musicians during concerts.

“You can tell when musicians are about to look at another musician and there is going to be that secret moment of shared happiness,” said Sebastian, who has spent considerable time around musicians, and is married to a prominent one, John Sebastian. He was the frontman for the 1960s group The Lovin’ Spoonful, and wrote such hit songs as “Do You Believe in Magic” and “Daydream.”

“When I take photographs, I want to make you feel as if it was you standing in the wings,” said Catherine Sebastian, who, like Kislin, lives in the Woodstock area.

Among her intimate portraits assembled for the exhibit are ones of Levon Helm, Muddy Waters, Elizabeth Cotton, Taj Mahal, John Sebastian, Maria Muldaur, Pete Seeger, and Richie Havens.

When reached in Montana on Tuesday, Sebastian said she gained a lasting appreciation of the importance of lighting when she studied photography in 1972 under Kirk Kirkpatrick in Los Angeles. He challenged his students, she recalled, to remove the light meter batteries from their camera, in order learn the fundamentals of manually controlling the camera to get the desired lighting in the image.

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On the Bright Side

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