Phoenix Gallery
Talya Arbisser stands for a portrait at the Phoenix Gallery in Moline, Friday, October 16, 2009. Arbisser will be exhibiting in the gallery starting October 30. (Crista Chapman/QUAD-CITY TIMES) Crista Chapman

Talya Arbisser's new photo exhibit shows the "three A's" of her life, she said - pictures of the time she has spent in America, Amsterdam and Australia.

Only two or three of the 20 photos in the exhibit, titled "... unattached ...," include any people, she said. The rest show the rural part of Australia, the urbanism of Amsterdam and both sides of America.

It was curated by Figge Art Museum executive director Sean O'Harrow, who helped narrow 200 photo choices to 20.

"I'm kind of in flux," Arbisser said of the exhibit's title. "When we started this project, I wasn't sure where I was going next or where I was coming from. I'm not really attached to any place right now."

The other half of the exhibit is documentary work she did as a graduate student at the International Center for Photography in New York City.

She chronicled the life of a girl, now 4, who was critically blind - her eyes worked, but her brain could not process the images, Arbisser said - beginning with her adoption at birth by a New York couple.

Arbisser spent two months with the family, taking pictures of everything from Sunday morning cuddle time to the child's first bath.

"It's really close to my heart, a special thing," said Arbisser, who was even more encouraged as the daughter of two Quad-City ophthalmologists, Drs. Amir and Lisa Brothers Arbisser.

The 25-year-old Davenport native and Central High School graduate got her bachelor's degree in sociology, with a concentration in visual images, from Cornell (N.Y.) University.

She has spent 10 years as a photographer, including six months as a Quad-City Times intern.

In January, she plans to move to Houston, where her paternal grandparents live, to go into business as a children's sports photographer, documenting kids on the playground and in their games.

"That mixes sports photography with my love of children," she said.

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