"More Than a Machine"

“More Than a Machine,” a photography exhibition by Brandon Fiume, will be on display through May 4 at Bottle Works in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

This exhibit captures art through the lens. 

“More Than a Machine,” a photography exhibition by Brandon Fiume, will be on display through May 4 at Bottle Works, located at 411 Third Ave. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

The exhibition, which is being showcased in Art Works’ main galleries as well as in the Tulip Building’s gallery and black-box theater, illustrates the culture and pride of United States industry and the legacy of machines that built and moved America.

Melody Tisinger, Bottle Works’ program operations manager, said Fiume was named Bottle Works’ 2019 Emerging Artist, a recognition the gallery has added to its exhibit roster as part of its recently implemented Lifelong Learning Initiative. The plan is to introduce an emerging artist each year and present their work at Bottle Works.

“We are excited to showcase this rising star,” Tisinger said. “In order to sustain Johns-town’s vibrant art scene, it is important to provide opportunities for young artists to learn and grow.”

Tisinger said gallery leaders were shown Fiume’s photography and thought the exhibit would be a good chance to introduce his work to the public. She described him as “eager to learn and passionate about things that are representative of our community.”

“More Than a Machine” explores the theme of industrial heritage, which is an omnipresent source of pride in western Pennsylvania. Many Pennsylvanians have some sort of personal connection to the industry.

“We are filling both buildings, and there are over 40 photographs,” Tisinger said. “He has photography of what he calls stop-motion, where it holds the lens open for a longer exposure time so you can get more seconds of a shot. There’s a lot of photographers using that type of technique.”

Fiume – who said that much of his work focuses on railroading, illustrating the power, speed, and continued relevance of trains – is a student at St. Francis University in Loretto, majoring in computer science and cybersecurity administration and minoring in visual arts. He received two grants to acquire professional studio lighting and to produce metal prints.

“Using neutral density photography and artificial lighting, I create new forms and shapes within industrial scenes,” he said. “By using long exposures over an extended period of time, the shot in motion transforms into a concept that conveys speed and creates new shapes and textures that are not visible within a split second.”

Tisinger said there are framed pieces and some photography on steel.

“Not only are there pictures of locomotives, but he’s also ventured into the Center for Metal Arts, and there are some beautiful photographs of equipment and the facility,” she said.

“It’s an ode to the industrial revolution.”

The photos also capture the beauty of the landscape of western Pennsylvania.

“You see a train rolling through a sunset, so there’s something to appreciate whether you are a nature person or an industrialist at heart,” Tisinger said.

Tisinger said train enthusiasts will especially find the exhibit enticing: “This show is dedicated for them. If you’re into trains and (Andrew) Carnegie and (Andrew) Mellon, and if the men who built America are your people, this will be an exciting show for you to see.”

Tisinger added that the show also has a message of following a passion and exploring your creative side.

“We want guests to have an appreciation of the impact we’ve made in the industrial revolution and how we were a helping hand in moving America forward,” she said. “We hope there will be a sense of pride in the community when they see the exhibit.”

An opening reception at which people had the opportunity to meet Fiume and discuss his work was held Thursday.

There is no admission to the exhibition.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

For more information, call 814-535-2020 or visit www.bottleworks.org.

Kelly Urban is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. She can be reached at (814) 532-5073. Follow her on Twitter @KellyUrban25.