Tonawanda News — In more than a year of operation at the small gallery space on Oliver Street, the Project 308 Gallery hasn’t played host to solo exhibit entirely comprised of photographs.
All of that will change Saturday when Buffalo State College photography student Kristen Snyder takes over the gallery’s walls with 20 of her “quirky,” perhaps humorous, photographs are part of her senior thesis show, “Don’t Take Things So Literally.”
Each photograph in Snyder’s show is a visual interpretation of an idiom or other well-known phrase, like “button your lip,” “walking on eggshells” or “adding fuel to the fire.”
”They are anything not intended to be taken literally photographed literally,” Snyder said.
Some of the images are straightforward and easy to figure out, while others “are supposed to make you think a little bit,” she added.
And while many of the images are perhaps a bit whimsical, Natalie Brown, owner of the gallery, said a couple are even a bit violent, like “button your lip,” in which a sharp needle threaded with a button is poised, ready to pierce a pair of lips.
”There’s a lot of tension going on in the photograph,” Brown said.
Snyder said the collection is meant to represent her skills as a photographer and not just someone who can skillfully use programs like Photoshop to manipulate and alter her work.
”I’m a photography major and the show should focus on my photography, not my Photoshop skills,” she said. “That’s very important.”
Brown described the photographs as very realistic, though Snyder hesitates to say she works with any one specific aesthetic.
“I love shooting everything: landscapes, panoramic, portraits,” she said. “I love the art of photography. I really do live setting up and creating the different scenes, especially for this project.”
Snyder became interested in photography as a student at Williamsville North High School, when she took a photography class just to fulfill a required art element for her diploma.
“I ended up being the only person who cared about the class,” she said. “I cared about it so much I thought I want to do this for the rest of my life.”
Which is why she’s hoping her show will teach viewers the value of photography as a legitimate art form.
“I’m hoping that the viewers will have a new appreciation for photography as art,” Synder said. “It has a stigma attached to it that it doesn’t have the creative process involved like other art and I want to prove that wrong.”
For her part, Brown said she’s eager to show off the art form at the gallrey without the heavy use of digital manipulation.
“I think it’s good to show all types of media,” Brown said. “Design students are using photo manipulations — it’s popular right now — so it’ll be nice to see more of a raw style.”
Contact Sunday Lifestyle editor Danielle Haynes at 693-1000, ext. 4116 or follow her on Twitter at @DanielleHaynes1.
IF YOU GO
• WHAT: “Don’t Take Things So Literally" by Kristen Snyder
• WHEN: Saturday - Dec. 21
• WHERE: Project 308 Gallery, 308 Oliver St., North Tonawanda
• MORE INFORMATION: Call 523-0068, or visit www.project308gallery.com