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Photography exhibition celebrates humble creosote bush

Creosote Series #18, 2002, by Aaron Bommarito. Photogravure, 5” x 6.5”

Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

March 21, 2002

What: The One that Smells Like Rain, an MFA thesis exhibition featuring photos of what is arguably the oldest organism in the desert, the creosote bush.
Where: Northlight Gallery, ASU Tempe campus, first floor of Matthews Hall (south-east corner of Tyler and Forest Malls.)
Who: Aaron Bommarito, a graduate student of photography at the School of Art in the Herberger College of Fine Arts at ASU.
When: April 16-25, 2002
          Opening Reception: 7 p.m., April 15
Hours: Sunday, 12:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with evening hours from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday. 
Cost: Always Free

About the Exhibition: Aaron Bommarito, a graduate student in photography at ASU’s Herberger College School of Art, presents The One That Smells Like Rain, his thesis exhibition in photography. Using the photogravure process, Bommarito explores the creosote bush in the Sonoran Desert.

Bommarito’s photography is strongly influenced by his undergraduate degree and background in biology. Art and science are intertwined in his work, as he continues to use scientific methodology in his work. Beyond simply photographing his chosen subject, Bommarito collects data, reads relevant scientific literature and writes hypotheses.

The subject of his work for the past three years is the creosote bush, which serves as the foundation of the Sonoran Desert. The One That Smells Like Rain pays tribute to this bush that is one of the least celebrated plants in the desert, yet one of the most crucial.

“Cholla, prickly pear and even the stately saguaro rely on it as a ‘nurse plant,’ growing in its shade to avoid the scorching summer sun,” Bommarito says. “Underground, the roots of the creosote stabilize loose desert soil, minimizing the effects of wind and water erosion. Culturally, the creosote has served medicinal purposes for native people in the desert.”

The public is invited to meet the artist at an opening reception on April 15 at 7 p.m.

About the Image:
Creosote Series #18, 2002, by Aaron Bommarito. Photogravure, 5” x 6.5”.

Northlight Gallery presents exhibitions of photography of contemporary and historical significance, as well as exhibitions of the work of School of Art photography students. Northlight is one of three galleries on the ASU Tempe campus operated by students, staff and faculty of ASU’s Katherine K. Herberger College School of Art.

Media Contact:
Jennifer Pringle