1807 cover with pier; photo is called Tranquil Morning

Christopher Frisone, MSN, a certified registered nurse anesthetist and alumnus of the University of Maryland School of Nursing, is the first UMB graduate to have artwork chosen for an “1807” cover.

The hazy sunrise, the soft collage of colors, the ethereal mood, and the leading lines conjure a feeling of peace on the cover of this year’s issue of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) art and literary journal, 1807. And the art within the latest journal does not disappoint.

Sixty-seven artists’ creations were chosen for the third issue from over 235 pieces of artwork submitted. 1807’s creative director and managing editor, Dana Rampolla, said, “I am very proud that each publication to date has resulted in a random representation of artists from across all of UMB. For the third consecutive year, the artwork — chosen by a blind jury — is representative of UMB in its entirety: each school, alumni, affiliates, faculty, staff, students, University leadership, and the Southwest Baltimore neighbors we serve are represented. Our constituency is diverse, and the final selections are equally as varied.” The journal also showcases a variety of different types of art including photography, images of varied and visual arts, and written works.

So let’s start with the cover. It engages you at first glance. Cover artist Christopher Frisone, MSN, is a certified registered nurse anesthetist and an alumnus of the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON). He said he was “absolutely floored” to have his photographic image Tranquil Morning selected for the cover of the third issue. Notably, he is the first UMB graduate to have artwork chosen for an 1807 cover.

Rampolla describes the cover as having a smooth finish, different from the soft-touch of the first two issues.

She says, “The goal was to offer a different tactile sensation with this issue because the image warranted a very special finish, something that worked in tandem with the fluidity of the photograph. And the interior pages have a silky, smooth feel as you gently turn them.”

Frisone describes himself as a landscape photo hobbyist. He surmises that the subdued sunrise image is what remains of a pier near Nags Head, N.C. The image spoke volumes to this year’s review team.

“The image,” he said, “was captured using a 10-stop neutral density filter to smooth out the large ocean waves.”

Frisone has been an amateur photographer for many years. He learned camera basics on a film camera while in high school and college.

But Frisone’s professional trajectory strays far from the photography field. He earned his bachelor of science degree as one of the only male nursing students in his graduating class at Salisbury University on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. After graduation, he worked at University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. Then he became a flight nurse (while still working part time at Shock Trauma) for a company called STAT MedEvac based in Hagerstown, Md.

He flew full-time and worked part-time at Shock Trauma for a number of years — both were high-pressure, trauma positions that allowed little time for personal photography endeavors. As time evolved, he looked for continued growth opportunities, which led him to UMSON and graduating as a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

By then, it had been several years since he had picked up a camera for the sole purpose of creating something artistic. So having a bit more free time because his formal studies were complete, Frisone decided to purchase a digital camera. The new digital platform presented a different type of learning curve. As he began dabbling in photography again, he found he continued to be drawn to landscape portraiture.

Primarily a self-taught digital photographer, he asserts that “online classes and lots of practice” have helped him grow in his mastery of skills. He and his wife enjoy traveling, which affords him many quiet mornings and evenings to find solace in nature. He describes that he often finds himself looking for the “perfect shot” at sunrise and sunset, when the sun is low in the sky and provides the perfect warm light that photographers seek.

Today, Frisone continues to keep busy working as a nurse anesthetist at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore and pulling double-duty as a freelance nurse anesthetist, while searching for the “golden light.” He is a member of the Baltimore Camera Club and says that membership and the camaraderie of photographic peers (novice to professional) help him nurture his passion for photographic excellence. And he credits his friends Jason Brookman (another 1807 published artist) and Sean McGowan (also a former Shock Trauma nurse and now a nurse anesthetist who also graduated from UMSON) for prompting him to get back into photography and for encouraging him to submit to this issue as a means of sharing his art.

Jennifer Litchman, MA, senior vice president for external relations, special assistant to the president, founder and chair, Council for the Arts & Culture, and 1807 editor-in-chief, extends a warm congratulations to Frisone and all of the artists who took the time and had the courage to submit this year. Many submitted artwork created during and/or reflective of the pandemic and/or recent social or political strife.

In the foreword, Litchman eloquently summarizes, “I think that we all deserve a hallelujah — for what we have been through, alone and together, and for how we have come together to endure the last year and a half, as a society, as a community, as a family. And for how art has helped transform our grief and isolation into a celebration of healing, renewal, and hope for the future.”

Congratulations to Chris and all of the UMB artists!

Submissions will be opening in November for the fourth edition of 1807. The next issue will be published in 2022.

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