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Before My Eyes - An Instant Film Exhibition

Side Street Studio Arts presents: Before My Eyes - An Instant Film Exhibition.

A group exhibition organized by Brian Garbrecht displaying artworks created using instant film photography. Polaroid, led by Edwin H. Land, released instant film to the public in the late 1940’s. Reaching its peak popularity in the 1970’s and 80’s, Polaroid film was a staple in the home as a way for families to share instant memories with each other. Around this time, artists like Andy Warhol, Ansel Adams, and David Hockney were using Polaroids to create one-of-a kind photographic artworks. With the popularity of the digital camera, Polaroid fell on hard times and stopped selling instant film in 2008. Later that year, The Impossible Project was born, as they continued to create and sell instant film. In 2017 The Impossible Project took up the Polaroid brand, and continued to sell film as Polaroid Originals. Along with Fujifilm Instax, and other niche instant film companies, instant film and artwork created from it have continued to thrive. This exhibition is a celebration of this medium and the artists from around the world who create one-of-a-kind works from it.

Artists: Sarah Achor @sarahjeanachor, W.E. Arnold @wearnold, Taylor Boylston @taylorboylston, Marcus Branch @marcus.branch, John Erickson @lordrichardhead, Brian Garbrecht @theoryofbrian, Kayla Holdgreve @kaylasuzanne, Bijou Karman @bijoukarman, David Lekach @davidlekach, Kyle Michaels @hellothisiskyle, Savanna Pettengill @naturalmeditations, Edie Sunday @ediesunday, Enrique Freaza Viera @urizenfreaza

Poster illustration artwork by Shae Colander @leafses

Limited Edition Before My Eyes Zines will be available to purchase at the gallery for $10 that have artwork and writings by each of the artists participating in the exhibition. The zine will be limited to 125 copies. If any are available after the completion of the exhibition they will be sold online. All sales from the zine will be donated to Centro de Informacion, an Elgin based charity that provides programs and services to local immigrants in the Fox Valley area.

Polawalk and Polaroid Emulsion Lift Workshop Saturday, November 2 at Noon

Supported in part by the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission.

Polawalk & Workshop info: These events are free and open to the public. The Polawalk and Workshop will be led by artist Brian Garbrecht.

Polawalk - a walk around Elgin taking photos using Instant Film Cameras and Instant Film. Some cameras and film will be on hand, but in limited supply, so if possible please bring a camera and some film. Cameras and film that can be found at stores are Fujifilm Instax, and Polaroid Originals. If you want to look for an old Polaroid camera, thrift stores and antique stores are a great place to look, as well as eBay and Facebook Marketplace. For vintage cameras, you will want cameras that take 600, SX-70, or Spectra films, as these are still abundantly available by Polaroid Originals. If you buy a new Polaroid Originals I-Type camera, you can only use I-Type film in these cameras. Fujifilm Instax, and Polaroid Originals cameras and film can be found online from Amazon, B&H Photo, In stores, you can find cameras and film at Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Urban Outfitters, and more.

Polaroid Emulsion Lift Workshop - For this workshop we will have some Polaroid films and cameras on hand, but supply will be limited. If you wish to participate, it may be a good idea to bring a new or vintage Polaroid camera. Polaroid and Polaroid Originals film will work for this workshop *Fujifilm Instax cameras and photos will NOT work with this process as the emulsion used is different.* You will learn how to transfer Polaroid images onto paper, fabric, wood, etc. Some paper will be on hand, but if you want to bring other material like fabric or wood to use, then do so. This process is mostly clean, but you will be using water, and there is the potential for a little mess so please dress accordingly or bring an apron.


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