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Photographer Gabriel Ibarra Shows “Diminishing Santa Clara Resources” in New Exhibit

Photographer Gabriel Ibarra finds comfort in spotting the same places over and over again. Expressing his dismay over how some places he was once familiar with are no longer here, Ibarra assembled his 7th annual Santa Clara photography exhibit to recognize what he referred to as “diminishing Santa Clara resources.” Set up behind a glass display case at the Santa Clara Senior Center (1303 Fremont St.), this exhibit will be on display until Jan. 31, 2019.

“I was born in 1956 in Santa Clara,” Ibarra said. “I’ve always been an observer. There’s a lot of build up on El Camino Real. Some of the things in this exhibit are no longer there.”

Ibarra offered an example of a place he once photographed that is now gone.

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“One of the images I like is a night scene of Mondo Burrito,” he said. “Because I photographed this at night, you can’t tell what it is. It’s a central image in my exhibit. The restaurant is closed now.  It reflects the uncertainty and obscurity of what’s happening in the City.”

Ibarra talked about a building that he photographed “at twilight.”

“The biggest thing that stands out in the exhibit is the Owens Corning Plant, an insulator business that’s over by Central Expressway and Lafayette Street,” Ibarra continued.  “I always pass by there. It’s a monstrosity. I tried to focus on the outline of the funnels at the top part of the building where the smoke comes out and the red orange color of the smoke.”

A number of Ibarra’s images are incorporated into collages, some with three or four images set within a larger image.

“One is the Merry Mart Uniforms — it’s a shop that has been there since 1946. When I went to school at St. Lawrence Grammar School, I always went here for my uniforms,” Ibarra said of one of his collages with three images. “I also took pictures of the Mission Branch Library at night time. The last image in the group is the new mural on the Lawrence Station right off of Lawrence Expressway and Homestead Road. The Lawrence Station used to be a railroad station. My image shows images of this railroad station, the orchards, and the series of pictures with places that had significance to the valley before.”

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