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Photography Past & Present


Some of us still remember our first camera.  Mine was a Kodak Brownie Holiday Flash Camera.  Complete with a carrying strap, flash attachment, and an assortment of bulbs, which I went through in about two minutes.  I think I mostly took pictures of our Airedale dog in those first few snapshots, but I remember the extraordinary feeling—that I could stop time and capture it in that small, black box.   

In the traditional and technical sense, the photographer does exactly that in their work.  From the time that Louis Daguerre produced the first “daguerreotype” and wrote in 1839, “I have seized the light.  I have arrested its flight,” photographers have been capturing light and images in photographs. Today that work is enhanced by a myriad of technological processes and products.  In the end, however, it is the photographer as artist who brings the magic to the finished piece by their understanding and use of light, color, composition, and materiality, and by a sense of meaning in what the photographer sees.

Beyond the technical, beyond the artistic, however, is another aspect of the magic of photography that transcends the simple act of capturing and holding on to an image, that extends past engaging in artistic expression.  One of the most important aspects of the work of a photographer today is that of telling a story.  Whether it’s in the composition of a still life, the playing with light and shadow on a human form, or revealing the magic in nature or the grit of a city, the photographer is always telling a story.  

This aspect of the photographic image, however, doesn’t simply lock us in, it doesn’t commit us, the viewer, to just one story.  The photograph creates a space which offers a quiet invitation to enter in and create our own stories.  It can take us back to warm—or cold—childhood memories, it can recall a recurring dream that haunts us, or it can bring forth our private thoughts, ones that we don’t share with anyone.

The photographs here can create the seeds of stories and worlds our own minds can fashion if given the right inspiration.  So, enter into this exhibit and hold on to its magic. 

Virtual Tour


Curators & Artists




Gene Sasse

Gene is a university level Adjunct Professor in Photography, which has allowed him to dedicate a portion of his creative skills and knowledge into teaching others. Over the years, his students have learned the artistic craft of taking and making fine works of photographic art.

Another thing that Gene is especially known for is the museum he founded and is currently the Director. Gene has demonstrated through his passion and talent, the ability to curate and orchestrate successful museums exhibits. Along with these skills, he manages the highly attended and informative educational art talks, which has made him an asset to the Southern California art community.



Cassandra Caldwell, Michael Carenen, Thomas Wheeler, Gene SasseJohn SextonEdward Curtis, Jerry Uelsmann, Brett Weston Harry Callahan, George Tourdjman, Dorothea Lange, Steven J. Mueller, Jerry Uelsmann, Bruce Pottorff, Dody Weston Thompson Joyce NugentAndre Kertesz, Dody Weston ThompsonKenneth Payne, Ernst Haas, Fred Brashear Jr.

Endemic Treasure, Stephen Day, Jasmine Zhang, Sae Yong Sae, Edward Curtis, Tony deBie, JackDelano, Mark Dodge-Medlin, Mandi Batalo, Same Hay, Jose Ortiz Echague, Imogen Cunningham, Julia Margaret Cameron, Henri Cartier Breslin, Derrick Yazzie, Joan Wynn, Ted Rigoni, E.O.Hope


Yuntong (Momo) Wu

Momo is an interdisciplinary artist and a curator who currently lives and works in the Pomona Arts Colony. She obtained her master degree of fine art from the San Francisco Art Institute with the nomination of Headland Fellowship Residency and the AICAD Teaching Fellowship. She has curated solo and group exhibitions in Northern and Southern California. Her work has been collected in the United States, China, Taiwan, and Germany.


Exhibition Photos

Presented by the Progress Gallery

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