No Filter: Photography by Jacqui Merhaut & Doug Hanson

Oct 14–28, 2017

Local artists Jacqui Merhaut and Doug Hanson focus their eye through the lens of some seriously old school equipment and processes, unadulterated by modern methods typically used to “enhance” raw images. The result: Beautifully imperfect and rich images developed by hand that reveal the unapologetic truth of their subjects.

Jacqui Merhaut has a passionate connection with her Grandfather’s Zeiss Ikon from the late 1940’s. Through her use of his camera, she lives with his spirit. She may be the one looking through the viewfinder but her Grandfather is right there holding that camera up along with her. Jacqui shoots all of her work on black and white film and develops her images in the darkroom, where she finds joy in the process, the lingering wait for the final product. In an age where there is so much instant gratification, this modality takes a step back and makes you wait for it, desire it and truly live it.

Learn more about Jacqui within her swell Artist Profile or at her website.

Doug Hanson specializes in antiquarian analog photographic techniques. His work explores dimensions of human experience and likeness represented with an altered sense of time. For this exhibition, Doug will be exhibiting work from his “Real Faces” collection. In these portraits, he strips away masks, both actual and affected, leaving bare and vulnerable the people we encounter in our everyday lives. Through these pictures the viewer can observe what lies beneath, what is true, and what is beautiful. The images were created using the wet plate collodion photographic process, widely practiced from 1851-1880. The process, like the people featured, is fraught with blemishes and artifacts that create a singular aesthetic.

Learn more about Doug within his swell Artist Profile or at his website.

Join us for the opening reception on Friday, October 13 from 6-8pm. Jacqui and Doug will each speak briefly about their work beginning at about 7pm. Or stop by any of the following three Saturdays, October 14, 21 & 28, between 1pm & 5pm.

On October 28 from 1-5pm, Doug will be creating Tintype portraits in the studio. Sign up to get your portrait at Each handmade portrait will be captured on a 4×5 inch metal plate just as it was done in the 1850s. About five minutes is required of the sitter to capture their likeness. 45 minutes later your authentic tintype will be ready! Browse the show and chat while you wait, or arrange to pick it up later. A donation of $20 is requested to cover material costs.


swell gallery

123½ W Main St
West Dundee, IL 60118