Exhibit: A Box of Contents

The Staunton Augusta Art Center announces a new gallery exhibit, A Box of Contents, photographs of Staunton by Peter Aaslestad.  The exhibit opens with a reception Friday, May 31, 5-7pm in the R. R. Smith Center for History and Art, 20 S. New Street in historic downtown Staunton across from the public parking garage.  The exhibit will run through July 21, 2013.  Regular gallery hours are 10am-5pm Monday-Friday and 10am-4pm Saturday.  There is no admission charge to attend the reception or to visit the gallery. 

Peter Aaslestad studied architecture at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, earned a degree in 1989 and moved on to work at firms in New York City and Paris, France. While in France he discovered a technology called photogrammetry which allows a person to make precise measurements from series of photographs. This changed his career path towards preservation and, increasingly, photography. Peter was one of the first in the United States to offer this technology as a consulting service to architects and has photographed, measured and made detailed drawings of a wide variety of buildings both here and abroad. He has done this work through his own company and through Staunton’s own Frazier Associates, which brought him to town in 1996. Since that time Peter has enjoyed exploring the Shenandoah Valley’s Queen City as a laboratory for a variety of photographic pursuits, both professional and personal.

The pictures collected for this show are mostly shot in 2013 with a few dating back to 2008. They aim to be representative of many of Peter’s concerns, but mainly this: creating images through compositional technique and, in particular, by trying to find the “right” point of view. Sometimes this is achieved through elevating the camera to capture an otherwise unseen perspective (by tripod or biplane), or by placing the camera somewhere still so that it has a chance to collect enough light to see something that the naked eye might have missed. All but one of the images are shot in the Shenandoah Valley, mainly in the city of Staunton itself.

This collection of pictures represents a limited edition of special prints made using printing a technique that Peter discovered while working in Zurich in the summer of 2012. Each piece is printed directly behind rigid UV protecting acrylic glass that provides for incredible luminosity and depth – with no antialiasing. These prints are lighter weight and more shatter proof than actual conventional glass. The edges are milled precisely for a sharp and clean effect. Made in Germany. Importantly, the prints are backed by a sturdy Forex backing so that they are both rigid, opaque, and made to last. They each include a sturdy metal hanging system of hook supports spaced to best distribute the weight of the picture. As such, the prints can be hung as is, or with a frame.