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It all comes out in the wash

Published January 11, 2007


The all-night glow of a well-lit coin laundry is not a welcoming beacon in Zachariah Thompson's series of photographs, which debuts Friday at the Studio@620 Like Edward Hopper's famous diner, it shines a light on the loneliness of such a place, where people wash, dry and fold some of their most intimate possessions in the company of strangers. In much older days, women would gather on river banks to perform those chores, a communal experience. Today, if you're lucky, you can launder clothes in the solitary privacy of your home. Coin laundries are institutional places for getting a job done.

That's what Thompson's black-and-white photographs, three shown here, evoke. They're straightforward, but the stark contrasts of the dark and bright, of parking lots cocooning and isolating the slick machinery and empty chairs, infuse them with emotional content. They are accompanied by an essay, blown up on wall boards, about his experiences as a new and apparently lonely resident of St. Petersburg. Let's hope this exhibition will introduce him to friends who can accompany him on his late-night forays into a city's heart of darkness.

"Cold October's Dying Moonlight: I Give the Night Light Reason" is at the Studio@620 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg, Friday through Jan. 27. Gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. An opening night party Friday, from 6 to 9, is free, with dessert, coffee and cash bar. (727) 895-6620 or

[Last modified January 11, 2007, 09:03:34]

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