What Artists Look Like – 2016

Jay GoldsmithExhibition opens at Discover Portsmouth

Portraits of local artists & their work,
Friday November 4- Friday December 23, 2016
Opening Night – Art ‘Round Town Friday November 4 5-8pm

Portsmouth, New Hampshire…Jay Goldsmith’s latest exhibition, “What Artists Look Like,” is an homage to the days of crisp black and white. In an age of instant digital photography and high-speed inkjet printers, he missed his old darkroom. Goldsmith’s latest exhibition, “What Artists Look Like,” is an homage to the days of crisp black and white images and hand-made prints. The free exhibition features unique portraits of Seacoast artists, and runs from Friday November 4 to Friday December 23 at Discover Portsmouth.

“Discover Portsmouth is the ideal venue for Jay Goldsmith’s exhibition that employs vintage techniques. The historic 1813-era Academy Building once housed the studio of Samuel P. Long. In 1839 Long produced the city’s first photographs on this very spot. It all started here.”
– Richard Candee, architectural historian

A wedding and family portrait photographer by trade, Goldsmith married two rare techniques to create this fine art show. He started with an 1873 invention known as the platinum-palladium process. In a dimly lit room, the photographer brushed the chemical emulsion onto watercolor paper.

“It was expensive, frustrating, challenging, often irksome, and time consuming,” Goldsmith says. But the results, he notes proudly, are beautiful and deeply rewarding images of Seacoast painters and sculptors.

Experimenting over many months, Goldsmith is photographing local artists in their studios including Ken Fellows, Maureen Mills, Christine Coombs, Shawn Pelech and Alison Huber-Jewett.

A former high school instructor, Goldsmith cannot resist a teachable moment as he explains his process. The platinum-palladium images are “contact prints,” he points out. In other words, the final print is the same size as the negative. Each negative was placed on the chemically-coated light-sensitive paper and exposed to a very bright mercury vapor lamp. The developed prints were then bathed in benign chemicals and rinsed in water. The metals that remained trapped in the fibers of the paper became the images we see.

In three decades as a commercial photographer with partner Julia Russell, Goldsmith has won several awards for his natural-light family and children’s portraits. His portraiture relies to a great extent on a sense of place. “What Artists Look Like” comes from that same environmental tradition. The exhibition will also include one to two creative works by each of the artists depicted.

Exhibition chair and historian Richard Candee points out that Discover Portsmouth is the ideal venue for Jay Goldsmith’s exhibition that employs vintage techniques. The historic 1813-era Academy Building once housed the studio of Samuel P. Long. In 1839 Long produced the city’s first photographs on this very spot. “It all started here,” Candee says.

A special Opening Reception will be held Friday, November 4, from 5-8 pm during Art ‘Round Town.

2016 Season Sponsors

Brown & Company Design; Devine Marketing Group

Exhibition Sponsors

All of our exhibitions and publications are made possible through the support of our membership and trustees. Many generous sponsors also helped underwrite this effort. We are most grateful to the Fuller Foundation.