Planet Portrait

According to his bio, photographer Mitch Dobrowner had a “surreal, life-changing experience” with a storm in the so-called Tornado Alley.

It took Helaine Glick a couple of years to put together the newest group photography show at the Center for Photographic Art, a beautiful meditation on climate and weather called Here on Earth. But when timing and availability aligned and it finally started to come together, it happened with natural ease and swiftness.

She and a CPA committee assembled four photographers whose subject matter focused on the elemental forces of fire, earth, water/ice and air.

“It was Camille Seaman’s iceberg photographs that first grabbed me, and she was on my wish list from the start,” Glick writes by email. “Then, I actually discovered Jane Fulton Alt’s work when I was investigating Camille, because they were both represented by Corden | Potts Gallery in San Francisco.”

That gallery collaborated with CPA in the past; relationships have helped the show along, including photographer David Maisel’s friendship with incoming CPA Executive Director Ann Jastrab.

The main strength of the exhibition is its aesthetics, a political subtext evolved out of the curation, and there are thrilling backstories.

“Mitch Dobrowner stands in the midst of life-threatening tornadoes and lightning while photographing,” Glick says. “Camille Seaman deals with temperatures in the minus double-digits and the uncertainty of ice conditions. Jane Fulton Alt photographs in the midst of controlled burns, but changing winds or crashing trees or branches are always a possibility. And David Maisel takes his photographs from an airplane flying over toxic or otherwise seriously compromised sites.”

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