One of the great joys of teaching photography for decades is the thrill of seeing one of my students or clients mounting their first photographic exhibition. And so, last week, I was overjoyed to visit Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier, Maryland, where the work of Gary Kohn was on display.
Kohn is one of my clients and studied fine art printing in our Havre de Grace, Maryland studio. How exciting to see his own printing technique on display at the gallery, where 60 of his images representing a broad range of styles hung.
Kohn, retired from a career in law and administration, proudly showed me around, providing background for the images he captured in his worldwide travels. Several of his images were printed on canvas, but what stood out for me were the traditional images printed on Moab’s Juniper Baryta paper. The colors were spectacular, with the baryta finish giving them extra pop.
The images represented locations including Israel, Mongolia, Iceland, Japan, Namibia and locations within the U.S.A. One themed collection was taken in Wyoming. I fell in love with the way Kohn captured the flavor of the West.
Culling one’s images is never easy. Kohn is quick to admit that choosing from among his 60,000 images was the hardest part of putting together the exhibition. That reminded me that each year we offer a 3-day workshop for accomplished photographers, both amateur and pros, on how to curate their body of work into a professional portfolio. To a person, our attendees comment that doing so was the hardest job they ever tackled in their photographic journey. But they report that the final products are worth that dedicated effort.
One of the most pleasing parts of being at Kohn’s exhibition was seeing how many prints he sold. Of course it’s not at all about the money, we both agreed, but rather the fact that people get so much joy from ones art. I suspect that this will not be the last of Gary Kohn’s exhibits.