Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ex-Hippie Cures Winter Blues with Island Color

featured photo "Bow Silhouette" by Bruce Bozman

Rochesterians can enjoy some relief from seasonal grey skies and winter doldrums by viewing Bruce Bozman’s new photography exhibit “Island Color”.  The Shoe Factory Art Co-op is hosting the Hammondsport artist’s vibrant show in its satellite gallery at Starry Nites Café.  The images on display are tantalizing abstractions of Bozman’s travels, highlighting visual snippets of his sailing journeys in the Caribbean and Grenadines as well as artistic viewpoints of his home base in the Finger Lakes.

"Water Rivulets on Red Keel" by Bruce Bozman

Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Bozman’s interest in photography started in college.  He began shooting images on backpack motorcycle excursions, developing rolls of film in a homemade black and white darkroom.  He majored in industrial design at the University of Cincinnati, making the Dean’s list and completing four of the five year program before dropping out to join the youthful revolution of his era.  He headed west in 1968.

"Beached Workboat" by Bruce Bozman

His free spirit landed him in San Francisco, where he received a post-college education living in a commune.  Bozman still values the mind-expanding, counterculture experiences an authentic hippie lifestyle had to offer.  Outgrowing tight living quarters, Bruce traveled across country with a VW bus search party to find new digs.  A dilapidated farm in Steuben County, NY became the ultimate choice for the entire commune (15 adults and 8 kids) to move east with the intention of living off the land.  Although the group disbanded after a few years, Bozman felt at home in the beauty of the Finger Lakes and has lived in the region ever since.

"Sailboat Hull" by Bruce Bozman

He went on to open a high end woodworking business in 1979, designing and building custom office furniture for corporate clients.  He developed a line of hardwood computer furniture and enlisted a production crew of six employees.  Finding a niche, Bozman’s enterprise was hired to create display cases and pedestals for Steuben Glass, Baccarat Crystal, and Lalique Crystal.  When steady client Stueben closed up shop in 2011, Bozman followed suit to pursue the photographic arts.

"Sea Turtles" by Bruce Bozman

Bozman’s rekindled passion for photography closed the door on his primitive darkroom of years past.  He now makes use of new technology with a digital camera and a playground of filter enhancements and printing processes.  What hasn’t changed is his sense of adventure, travel, and exploration with his artistic eye.  Showing his work in the art festival circuit has proven to be a good fit.  In a very short time he has won recognition with numerous awards of distinction and best in show. 

Photographer Bruce Bozman during sailboat race

The current "Island Color" exhibit features Bozman’s tantalizing abstractions of the Caribbean taken on his yearly catamaran sailing trips.  He finds his images while anchored, combing the beach or swimming with a waterproof camera.  His compositions feature glimmering light on ship's bows, sterns, and sails.  Sun beaten boats reflect water and sky in hot colors.  Other pieces are similarly shot closer to home on Keuka Lake.   Whether the photo is a well-composed pictorial of an exotic beach or an indistinguishable abstract of the weathered hull of a sailboat, Bozman’s colorful and sunlit images guarantee the viewer cheer and escape from the Northeast winter blues. 

"Sunlight Reflections on White Hull" by Bruce Bozman

“Bruce Bozman:  Island Color” is hosted by the Shoe Factory Art Co-op and is currently on display at Starry Nites Café through January 18th, 2014.  Admission is free.  Photographs are available for purchase, printed on canvas or matted and framed under glass.

Starry Nites Café is located in the unique Flat Iron Building at 696 University Ave., Rochester, NY 14607.  Café patrons can enjoy specialty drinks, gourmet coffees, beer and wine, homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts.  Open daily and nightly.  Call (585) 271-2630 for hours. 

Artists who would like to display their work at Starry Nites may apply through the Shoe Factory Art Co-op’s website  To view more artwork by local artists, visit the Shoe Factory Art Co-op’s gallery at 250 N. Goodman St., Studio 212, Rochester, NY 14607. 

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