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Utensils in the Still Life Tradition

What started out as a training tool - photos of a variety of kitchen utensils to help students identify them - has turned into a sizeable art display that will be shown this month in Brooklyn, NY at the Almondine Bakery Gallery on Water Street.

Roberto Gautier and his wife Elissa Descoteau, formerly of Brooklyn and now residents of Bellows Falls, began taking photos of the utensils when Roberto was teaching at New York City's College of Technology in Brooklyn. He was the Professor of Hospitality Management.

"One day I brought in a colander, and realized most of the students had no idea what it was," he said. "So, we began taking these photos to help the students learn the various names."

They shot hundreds of photos of newer and vintage utensils from dozens of cultures against two colorful and texturally interesting walls under the Brooklyn Bridge, and also some were photographed with a red dumpster as the background. They call the result "Utensils in the Still Life Tradition," and the simple, beautiful photographs are fascinating.

Elissa is the photographer, and Roberto refers to himself as her collaborator, setting up the shots.

"We'd go down under the bridge with a duffel bag full of utensils," he said. "When we started setting them up, people would think we were having a tag sale!"

Elissa hunts for vintage picture frames, then sorts through the hundreds of photos to find the right picture to put in it.

After the show in Brooklyn, the couple will be showing in galleries here in Vermont. Check The Messenger for when and where.

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