By now, hearing endless repetitions of holiday music and seeing the city mummified in strings of lights might leave you feeling more akin to Mr. Potter than George Bailey. But thanks to the stalwart efforts of a few arts spaces, like Cabaret Red Light’s recent mischievous rendition of The Nutcracker at the Painted Bride Art Center, the holidays face some much-needed reworking.

One such chance to recapture the holiday spirit before the weekend can be found at the Light Room Gallery. The photography on display for Holiday Show 2011 offers the rare opportunity to find holiday gifts without the atmospheric torture that comes standard with every department store visit.

Tucked away on Wallace Street, just a block from the imposing walls of Eastern State Penitentiary, the homey space of the Light Room Gallery beckons visitors into a room frosted over with white like a snowdrift brought in through the outer doors. If the sight of a fireplace isn’t enough to thaw the chill of commercialism from the wary newcomer, a glance at Tony Rocco‘s “Struggle in the ‘Italian’ Market,” just above the stairway, will finish the job. One of the few color photos on display, a forceful splash of vibrant flames in the foreground will continually recapture your eyes as you wander through the space.

Travel across vignettes of the city as you walk along a wall of works by Erin Yard. Refresh yourself with a brisk draft from Ranjoo Prasad’s “Chestnut Hill Winter Stream,” just before cutting into “Fruit Series,” by Joshua Marowitz.

Lose yourself in Mary Anne Broderick-Pakenham’s misty seascapes. Almost post-apocalyptic in their ghostlike desolation, Broderick’s Landscapes series could double as establishing shots from the mind of Rod Serling. On the wall opposite, three photos by Glenn Bizewski will strand you in the midst of towering rock formations, as you stare into dizzying pockets of devastating height.

Catch these photos and more at the 2024 Wallace Street space through January 7, and let your heart expand a few sizes as you return home, maybe even bearing gifts in support of local artists.

Stop by the gallery tonight at 8 pm for a demo by Tara Hornung on how to archivally mount / matte / and frame your photographs.

Kit Donnelly

See Kit Donnelly's full Portfolio