Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Photographer Allison Corona at Boise Centre, Visual Arts Center

Posted By on Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 12:13 PM

A 2010 graduate from Boise State's arts department, photographer Allison Corona has been working on her current series "Spaces of Cultural Comfort" for the past three years.

An Idahoan of Mexican heritage, Corona attended high school in Driggs and moved to Boise for college.

"I had no immediate family nearby, and found myself drawn to places and spaces familiar to me, in particular, shops run by other Treasure Valley Latinos," says Corona.

Images courtesy of the artist

Since she began shooting this body of work, immigration issues have hit the forefront in American political and social realms and close to the artist's heart; her mother was an illegal Mexican immigrant up until just a few years ago. Not only does the work have much to say about how Latinos and their shops contribute to our local cultural fabric and act as a document of immigrant business, Corona hopes her photographs allow viewers to think more about political and social issues of immigration as well.

Currently, there are around 25 portraits in the series, but Corona isn't finished.

"I hope to travel around the state and photograph other Latinos throughout Idaho," says Corona. Ideally, she'd also love to expand the series by photographing Latino businesses in other American cities.

Corona shoots with a Hasselblad 80mm camera and doesn't add any artificial light to the settings. Her black-and-white photographs are taken while the shops are open and operating, and the owners and staff working. While the shopkeepers have given Corona permission to photograph in their spaces, they are often unaware they are the subjects in particular shots. The film is then scanned, allowing the artist to do any necessary color corrections and, because they are printed digitally, making them a hybrid form of contemporary photographic processes.

  • Images courtesy of the artist

While Corona showed five of the portraits from "Spaces of Cultural Comfort" in her graduate show last spring at Boise State, the series has been well-received. Three photos were recently selected for inclusion in the City of Boise's collection of contemporary artwork, the "Boise Visual Chronicle" and are on currently on view at the Boise Centre.

Last year, juror Beth Sellars chose a piece from Corona's series for the prestigious Boise Art Museum's 2010 Idaho Triennial exhibition.

You'll soon be able to see some more of Corona's photographs in the upcoming exhibit "Fresh Air: A Regional Juried Exhibition of Emerging Artists" at Boise State's Visual Arts Center, which runs opens Monday, Jan. 24 and runs through Friday, Feb. 25, with an opening reception and awards on Friday, Jan. 28 from 6-8 p.m.

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