Foothill Galleries presents photomontages by CH artist Greg Donley
A montage of images and words, Greg Donley’s works—uniquely sized at 6 inches tall by 6 to 10 feet wide—seem to wrap the viewer within. Explaining the intentionality of the size, Donley said, “You can’t really take in the detail all at once. You have to move yourself past it, much as you have to move yourself through a landscape.”
“What I have tried to do with these photographs,” said Donley, “is explore the ways in which people experience places, and how they remember those experiences later.
An exhibition of Donley’s latest series of works, Annotated Grandeur: New photomontages by G.M. Donley, will open at Foothill Galleries (2450 Fairmount Blvd., Suite M291) on Wednesday, March 13, with a reception 6–8 p.m. The show will run through the end of April.
According to gallery owner Michael Weil, this exhibit celebrates Donley’s passion for immersion in wide-open spaces. “He is an explorer in and with so many senses. His art reflects his exploration,” said Weil.
The montage effect creates a literal stagger in what viewers see. “These fragmentary images require your eyes and brain to do some decoding to make sense of everything, which I think is similar to the way we reconstitute memories based on piles of images that are filed away in our heads,” explained Donley.
He described his creation process as one that begins with anywhere between 40 and 90 images that he layers on top of one another, then spreads horizontally, with the earliest frame on the left and the most recent on the right, making “a kind of disjointed sequential progression.”
Donley then lays text across the landscape. “The words that appear against the landscape relate to how people attach meaning to place,” Donley said, “and how one person’s meanings might be completely different from the meanings someone else attaches to the same place.”
“I love this new series,” said Weil, “because of its ability to have us step back in awe and then step forward with curiosity. Creative presentation of sublime grandeur presents so many challenges for an artist. When the artist gets it right, the rewards are significant for the viewer. Come see what I mean.”
This is the second exhibition from this ongoing project to be shown at Foothill Galleries, which opened in 2016.
Mostly a mom, Shari Nacson, is a freelance editor, social worker, and nonprofit consultant who makes her home in Cleveland Heights.