|By Liz Reyna|
Photographer shares life, work in retrospective show
For Roxanne Frith, it’s been a lifetime.
My work is not really surprising, as it is reaffirming,” Frith said. “Looking back, what I see that’s really important is the human condition and the spirit of people, no matter what culture or group I photographed."
“Glimpses,” a retrospective exhibit celebrating Frith’s life and 30 years of work, is on exhibit at Lansing’s Creole Gallery through Aug. 23.
A community of supporters gathered at the opening reception Sunday afternoon, as Frith unveiled her wide collection of work. The exhibit features a selection of about 50 pieces — portraits, triptychs and digital collages — spanning three decades, the most recent of which were completed two weeks ago.
Frith seeded the show with 10 foundation pieces, and then she let friends and colleagues choose the next 40 or so. She said the various styles of work in the show all represent the many phases of her life, which has brought her to Lansing again and again. "It’s an honor to be able to share my life’s work," Frith said. “I chose Lansing as my home because this is where I want to live and contribute.”
“When friends and colleagues ask me, ‘Why Lansing?’ I always come back with three reasons: Turner Street, LCC and a solid community of friends,” she said.
As a photography instructor at LCC, Frith has played a substantial role in building the Lansing art scene. When a friend from the Regional Alternative Teachers Society called Frith asking for a space to show a selection of work from five alternative high schools during one of Old Town’s first holiday seasons, Frith suggested the Creole Gallery, owned then by friend Robert Busby.
“We mounted a show here during that first holiday series, and then Robert donated the space to me for the next year and a half,” Frith said.
Over the next year and a half, LCC students under Frith’s direction prepped the exhibit program at the Creole Gallery.
“I had the mixed blessing of having the last show with Robert (Busby was killed in February 2007), and this is the first time I’ve shown since losing my dear friend,” she said. I
n Busby’s honor, a photo by Frith, which was sold to Busby (the first photo she ever sold), hangs by the door in her show. The photo is on loan from Busby’s daughter, Ena Busby, who inherited the Creole Gallery.
A selection from “Collection of Faces” features a variety of portraits that tell history through their eyes. One photo shows a stern woman, decked head-to-toe in fur. Another man, face full of hardship, sits next to her in an adjacent photo.