Positive Exposures: Faces of Change in Niagara Falls

March 16 – May 4, 2024
First Floor Hallway Gallery
10:00am – 5:00pm daily
Free Admission

Opening Reception: Saturday, March 16, 2:00 – 4:00pm

Photographer James Abbondanza highlights Niagara Falls community leaders in an exhibit featuring a special photographic process.

The “wet plate collodion” photographic process is one of the earliest types of photography. Invented in the mid 1800’s, this process uses light sensitive chemicals poured over tin or glass plates by hand, exposed in camera while still wet, and then developed on site to produce an image.

Unlike the immediacy and ease of digital photography, this process is slow, purposeful, and creates a unique and tangible result. Each person who sits for a photo will experience a process that has changed our world in ways so profound, it is almost too much to consider.

The process embodies the work of those sitting for the portraits. All of these individuals are making a purposeful, tangible, and positive difference in the Niagara Falls community, through leadership, entrepreneurship, and optimism.

Photographer Sally Mann was able to sum up my love of this method best when she said “When I was shooting with collodion, I wasn’t just snapping a picture. I was fashioning… an object whose ragged black edges gave it the appearance of having been torn from time itself.”

James Abbodanza, portrait of Saladin Allah (R),ferrotype photograph on tin, 5 x 7 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

This program is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrant program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by Arts Services Inc.