Ted Baldanzi has been a patron of Morristown High School photographers and videographers for as long as anyone can remember.
So it was only fitting that the first photograph sold on the opening night of his 70 South Gallery was by an MHS student, Kelly Ganning.
“Ecstatic!” was how the senior described the feeling on Friday, after selling not one, but three photographs–the first photo sales of her life.
“Once you have a beveled matte, you never go back,” joked Kelly’s photography teacher, Brian Kievning, on hand for the reception in the former Sandrian Camera store.
The exhibition, which runs through November, also features Dan Sroka of Morristown, Marv Kaminsky of Mount Olive and Andrew Prokos of Jersey City. All are accomplished photographers.
A ribbon-cutting and open house are scheduled for 2 pm on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. Prizes, surprises and refreshments are promised.
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A pair of former Sandrian employees, Ira Black and Gina Cerbone, organized the show.
Ira also happens to be a professional photographer. He said Kelly’s photo collages reminded him of Salvador Dali. And one of his favorite personal shots is of Kelly, signing her first prints for sale.
‘CARRY THE MEMORIES FORWARD’
Memories are what it’s all about, said Ted Baldanzi, who continues the Sandrian tradition of high-quality printing services at 70 South.
“It’s very important for people’s future,” Ted said, to liberate photos locked inside smart phones and commit them to paper and frame.
“Not only now, but for the next generation, and the next generation. I have pictures of my grandparents when they came over from Italy in the 1890s. They’re important to me.”
Quite a few memories were flying around the gallery, thanks to finishing touches that enabled the show to go on. Lights were installed on Friday morning, just hours before the reception. The renovation project has been taking shape since February.
The Sandrians–Peter and Kathy and their son Myles–are involved with the gallery and attended the reception in their former shop.
“I’m delighted to see what’s taken place,” said Peter Sandrian, whose family opened the Morristown photo business in 1927. “An important aspect of the business is the printing. Printing is what carries the memories forward.”
Visitors included Ted’s wife Beth and daughter Madalyn (MHS ’04) and the MHS field hockey team, which Ted has photographed over the years. Ted retired four years ago after selling his software company.
Pam Johnson, another former Sandrian employee, would not have missed this night, either.
“I grew up here. I consider these guys my family,” said Pam.
Kathy Sandrian was pregnant with Myles–now a grown man–at Pam and Kevin Johnson’s wedding. Pam said longtime employee Barbara Fowler was her mentor for 10 years.
Kelly does not have much time for memories right now. She’s pretty busy with the high school literary magazine, yearbook and theater company. Friday’s sales left her more than $400 richer; what does she want to do with that bounty?
“Go to college, hopefully,” she said, flashing a grin as big as the gallery.