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KMR Arts Gallery

by Joseph Montebello

Kathryn McCarver Root and her eponymous gallery KMR Arts will celebrate their ninth anniversary in June and there are some changes afoot.

“In addition to showcasing photographers, the gallery is now having its first show of an artist,” said Root. “Her name is Michele Mirisola. She lives and works in Brooklyn. The series of work is called “Room” and the paintings focus on Mirisola’s studio and all of the rooms she has lived in during the past three years. For any artist who has a dedicated studio space to work in, that is the place where the artist creates, escapes, explores and breathes. It is a most personal space. The pieces have a narrative quality to them but there are no people represented. There is a youthful energy that runs through the paintings, and I thought it would be interesting to bring the urban focus of Brooklyn to rural KMR Arts.”

But Root’s first love is still photography. Since its inception KMR Arts has exhibited work by some of the most influential photographers of the twentieth century, from Lillian Bassman to Leo Fuchs, Saul Leiter, Sally Gall, Horst and Peter Beard, among others. And while photography is still an evolving medium, relative to painting and sculpture, she believes it is becoming increasingly important for collectors. It is crossing over into the contemporary art world and is still relatively affordable.

“You can get a great photograph by a really important photographer for a fraction of what you’d be paying for a contemporary painter,” she said. “While I know that many collectors look for resale possibilities, I try to guide my clients to work that will maintain its integrity and bring them enjoyment. Hopefully that photographer’s market will grow, but that shouldn’t be the primary reason for buying a picture.”

Root’s expertise enables a novice to learn the nuances of collecting photography. Unlike an artist who produces one copy of a painting, numerous prints can be produced from one negative.

“In film photography the dark room is a key step in the making of the print,” Root explained. “It’s not like setting up a printing press. Each print is created separately and tends to have its own qualities, dependent on various conditions – the ink level, the humidity. In most cases, even if the prints are not numbered, with guidance you can ascertain when it was printed. Vintage in photography refers to when a photograph was actually printed. Only those prints done within the first three years would be considered vintage; subsequent editions would be called later prints.”

In addition to continuing the exciting exhibitions she has produced over the years, and her foray into fine art, Root is extending her curatorial expertise by offering assistance in art installation, picture hanging and creating personal photo walls.

“There really isn’t a company or entity around here doing this specific work,” explained Root. “Arranging art is a subtle but important element in collecting. It enhances the aesthetic of the art. Balance, height, proportion all come into play when hanging a piece of art. A lot of people have beautiful pieces that are not hung properly.”

And how many of us have groups of family or travel photos that are waiting to be assembled and displayed in a hallway or as a cascade on a staircase? Root will take the project on, facilitating the selection, framing and installation of the photographs.

“Editing, trying to balance the shapes and sizes can be daunting. But it’s fun for me. I’ve recently done a townhouse in New York, a Relais Chateau country inn, a residence in Greenwich and a wall of children’s art in a country house.”

It is one more reason to visit KMR Arts, view an exhibition, talk to the owner, perhaps buy a print or a painting and begin a collection with an expert at your side.

Room: Paintings by Michele Mirisola will be on display through July 23rd at KMR Arts Gallery, 2 Titus Road, Washington Depot CT.

For further information please visit the link below.