The exhibition showcases Ross's first foray into color photography with over 10 large-scale archival pigment ink prints made in 2010 and 2011. A selection of recent 8 x 10 inch gelatin silver prints will also be on view.
An heir to cultural documentarians like Diane Arbus, Lewis Hine, and August Sander, Judith Joy Ross is widely recognized for her sensitive and penetrating black and white portraits of school children, visitors to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., members of the United States Congress, Persian Gulf War soldiers, and Americans protesting the U.S. war in Iraq. Her latest work explores man's rewarding and challenging relationships with the natural world through carefully composed, vibrant color images of people connecting with animals and grassroots environmental protestors in action.
Taken at wildlife rehabilitation centers, farms, zoos, and libraries, Ross's photographs capture the unique bonds formed between humans and animals. Reading to dogs, Bethlehem Area Public Library, Bethlehem, PA, 2011, for example, subtly observes a nationwide program that encourages the uninhibited development of children’s literacy skills by reading to registered therapy dogs and their handlers.
Other works on view address the timely yet controversial issue of hydrofracking for natural gas by documenting civic meetings, protests, and rallies in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Although Ross's images record current events, they are not photojournalistic; and while her subjects may possess distinct political and ecological views, the pictures are not dogmatic. Rather, they are quiet meditations on the potentially disastrous consequences of environmental interaction, proposing a meaningful re-evaluation of our relationship with the earth and humanity at large.