The vision and perspective of photographer Tommy Ewasko has produced a number of the most iconic images of Glendale’s Alex Theatre in recent memory to the benefit of the venue and the entire community. On Friday at Montrose’s Wine Cave, his contribution to the preservation of local arts will spread across the entire range of his portfolio.
Having moved to the Los Angeles area in recent years, the photographer formed a close bond with the Alex Theatre and Glendale Arts CEO Elissa Glickman.
“I sought out an icon and found it in the Alex. It is a special relationship,” said Ewasko. “We have been able to make people notice and explore the Alex Theatre through a unique perspective.”
Glickman was equally complimentary, citing the number of photographs Ewasko has taken over the years that have explored the entirety of the historic venue.
“He has really taken some of the theatre’s best images since we’ve reopened in the ’90s, and he has been an integral part of our marketing efforts for the Alex,” said Glickman. “This show is going to be exciting because it will offer the full breadth of his work, including some of the pieces from the Alex. The public will have a chance to experience the range of his art.”
As a photographer, Ewasko portrayed the experience of being in Southern California as a form of constant stimulation, similar to Times Square. The diversity of the city offers a broad range in terms of people, landscapes, cityscapes, and nature in close proximity to each other.
“There is a certain feeling you get when everything falls into place and you have the opportunity to create an ‘icon image.’ My goal is to bring people back to a memory, and I feel able to do that here,” he said.
Ewasko described his experiences across the country over a lifetime as a photographer and their role in defining his artistic style with techniques developed over a long career. He spoke to the value of constantly seeing images with unbiased eyes and described his mind’s appreciation for seeing things for the first time.
“Traveling opened my eyes as a young boy. My dad would pile five boys into the car and we didn’t know where we would go,” he said. “Exploration is an appreciation for what you see … You may never again see it exactly as it is that day, in that light. You find an appreciation in very simple scenes while you travel.”
Ewasko was fast to heap credit on his professors and associates who he named instrumental in the development of his technique and style.
He graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1988, and found fast success with an early career in New York City.
“I try not to burden myself by trying to capture everything. When I look at something, I immediately try and place it in terms of a composition,” explained Ewasko. “It’s what brings people a connection to the pictures on the wall, seeing things with fresh eyes.”
The exhibition will take place this Friday from 5 p.m. to midnight at the Wine Cave at 2427 Honolulu Ave. in the heart of Montrose. Ten percent of the proceeds will benefit Glendale Arts.