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A shared vision, but different views

Posted by Teresa Hanafin  February 7, 2009 02:22 PM

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Robert Festa and Kristin Mallery first crossed paths at the Footlight Club's annual holiday fair about a year ago. The two longtime Jamaica Plain residents and fledgling photographers were both peddling original prints ranging from close-up scenes to panoramic portraits.

They found, much to their surprise, that they also each had a photo of the same row of houses in Portsmouth, N.H.

"We were right next to each other, and she came over to me and said, 'I'm really proud of this photo,' " recalled Festa, a Jamaica Plain Open Studios member who works as an architect. Reaching into his collection, he produced a similar image: "I had taken the exact same picture, but I tend to take a lot of detailed shots and she usually takes more landscape shots."

JP To Me
That "serendipitous moment," as Mallery described it last week, has given way to a 36-piece public art exhibition by 11 artists, including Festa and Mallery, called "JP to Me," which is continuing this weekend and next at the Footlight.

Embracing that original concept of varying perspectives, "We thought we'd focus on a building or an object or a place, but it was hard to get a consensus from the artists to focus on one thing, so we focused on JP as a whole," Festa said.

"It's really cool to see all the different takes on the neighborhood," he said, with the show including paintings, photographs, and mixed-media works featuring local architecture, street scenes, and nature.

Mallery, whose contributions include images of Jamaica Pond and the Arnold Arboretum, said, "You can find so much cool stuff in like one block of your house."

"JP to Me" exhibition will be open 6 to 8 p.m. today and Feb. 13 and 14 at the Footlight Club, 7 Eliot St., Jamaica Plain. For more information, call 617-524-3200, or visit


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