Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sam Hill: art, opening, warehouse

The old Sam Hill Warehouse sits on a rise abutting what was at one time the Santa Fe tracks. Fortunately, the old structure has survived to morph into Prescott College's Art Gallery and Visual Arts Center. Work transforming the building has been ongoing for a couple of years; Friday night was the official opening, with a major show in the gallery. The new student facilities were also on display.

Featured works included photo collage/panoramas of Yosemite, revisiting the work of such early masters as Ansel Adams and Edward Weston (above), and a series of photogenic drawings (below).

Insensitive clod that I am, I was quite as interested in the facilities as in the art works! Above, the art studio, complete to a full skeleton in the right hand corner.

The darkroom took me back many years. Just look at all those enlargers! (And there are more, which I couldn't get into the picture.) No thanks, I'd just as soon not go back to those Good Old Days. It was expensive. Time-consuming. Black and white. The sign below says it all quite well. But -- the results were probably a lot more permanent than all the colorful digital pictures that I'm taking these days. And it's great that student photographers get a good taste of the discipline and hard work that were required yesterday.

More my speed -- one of several computer work clusters in the digital workshop.

Enough of the new; here are some of the features of the historic building. Above, a distinctive opening in the floor, though I know not the purpose -- it may have been a chute from the railroad level to the lower floor where local deliveries would originate.

These are the big doors that opened to the railroad for unloading. Sorry about the clutter, but this picture from last year's art auction was the best in my archive! Below, open rafters in the upper floor of the building.

Just for the record, I'm not sure that many people will recall the short-lived restaurant that occupied what is now the upstairs gallery space. Back in the late 80s, if I recall correctly. A good 10-15 years too early to cash in on the dining out habits of our California newcomers.


Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

Is the building's namesake any relation to 'What the ... ....?


Anonymous said...

It looks lovely; the college did a nice job! Thanks for the virtual tour,

~Anon in AV.

Anil P said...

There's nothing quite like a gallery to energise the community. More so because it's great to look forward to upcoming shows.

It's nice to retain history. I always wanted to learn how to process black and white pictures. I guess 'digital' has 'spoilt' us all, in a way.

Anonymous said...

Granny, I hope you got some of that good grub. I sure would hate to have to develop and print my pictures. Did B&W ages ago, but not any more.

Granny J said...

bro -- I've often wondered the same; perhaps it's time to consult The Google about the origins of that expression.

anon av -- yes, the building really is lovely.

anil -- we have quite a few galleries here in Prescott and monthly gallery tours. As for processing b&w photos, it's a good discipline, but I don't know where you'd equip yourself for the job except perhaps on eBay. Then there's the problem of obtaining the chemicals.

steve -- I was stupid and ate before going to the show. Even more work than the b&w was color -- I played Igor to my LH when he got into Ektacolor printing.

Avus said...

I "served my time" with chemicals, enlargers and dark rooms, then gave up and had to make do with what others did with my films (with the week's wait to get the results). Give me digital and "Paint Shop Pro" every time!

Melanie A. said...

If memory serves, the restaurant was called "El Escondido," and was probably too hidden indeed to thrive. It also had a brief try at being a dance club. The gallery looks primed for much greater success.

Granny J said...

avus -- I'm with you! Three cheers for the point-and-shoot digital camera, which is such a cut above the old point-and-shoot film camera.

melanie -- thank you for recalling the name of the restaurant; now it rings a bell. A dance club is not something I would have had anything to do with!

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