The Art at the Center Portrait and Photography Show reception was held Sunday, Oct. 13. This is an exhibition that spotlights our local artists and brings them and their patrons together with wine, food and music. This year, because of the damage to the first floor of the building and need to get rid of the mold, the reception and show were held upstairs in the hallway and the community room.
Portraits of faces, each of them exuding an emotion a viewer can relate to, line up on the walls at Nederland Community Center. Some of the faces will be recognized, many of them won’t, but what their expressions convey is felt by all of us: love, joy, angst, serenity, anger, pride, and the pictures of people living their lives.
There are landscapes of extraordinary beauty evoking a feeling of awe that we are fortunate to live on such a diverse, spectacular planet. The walls told many stories and the people who created the visuals to go with those stories were on hand to talk about their work and the lives they captured.
The band, Cannibidiol Non-psychoactive Cannibaloid, or CBD, was a refreshing new sound at the event. They claimed to relieve pain and inflammation while delivering medicinal music. Peak Wine and Spirits donated the wine and Kathmandu and Backcountry Pizza donated the appetizers.
Each year, those who attend the show are asked to vote for three of the represented artists, turning in their cards throughout the evening. At the end of the night the winners are announced. It is always difficult to choose and many of the viewers will go back and forth between the work, comparing what they feel towards the subject the composition, the light and the underlying emotion.
Probably the youngest artist in the show, Ande Joyce, felt honored to have her work hung. She brought in an elegant photo of a large, gnarled dead tree that held all kinds of images, and a pond lily of exquisite greenness. She says, “I am in 9th grade at Nederland High School and have lived in Nederland my whole life. I enjoy photography and I love the color pink. These photos were taken in upstate New York this past summer. I am interested in pursuing a career in photography.”
Lisa Gakyo Schaewe’s picture of clouds and trees reflected on a misty pond is mesmerizing in its contemplative, hypnotic draw into the horizon. She is a formal Zen student and has assisted John Daido Loori Roshi with his Zen of Creativity workshops. She views the art making process as a form of meditation and spiritual practice, a way to realize the interconnectedness of all things. She is an adjunct instructor at Naropa University and a psychotherapist and an art therapist. She has been a Nederland resident since 2002.
The winner of the People’s Choice Award was Dale Eismueller. Patrons thought his columbine photo was exquisite and striking. They loved how he captured the pelican in an interesting position; But the favorite was his panorama of the cows and how great it looked in his handmade frame.
A father/son exhibit of children and grandchildren demonstrate how one can take a picture of a child and it becomes a work of art. Focusing on the eye of nursing child tells all one needs to know about how that child feels at the moment. Laughter in your face brings a smile, as the camera catches the gleeful moment straight on.
Wynn Bruce says his dad Doug gave him his first camera in 1987 and after years of exploring the medium, he began formal training in 1993. In 2003, he left the darkroom and fine-tuned his work with a digital camera and studied photojournalism. He uses Photoshop to fine tune for better exposure and cropping. “It is nice to have the darkroom on my desk,” he says. Wynn was voted second in the People’s Choice Award.
Doug, Wynn’s dad says he was student of film photography at the University of Minnesota. Now, retired he trying to see anew in the world of digital images.
Sue Daniels has been a local photographer who has specialized in dance photography as well as weddings and portraits, always striving to capture the most flattering interesting and exciting images of her subjects. She is a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, Canon Professional Services and the Boulder Digital Arts.
Daniels’ portraits in the NCC show are all poignant and artistically rendered. Perhaps the most personal is the portrait of her son Jacob, who been a dancer and actor throughout his childhood and high school years and is now a member of the Colorado Ballet. He was reluctant to pose at first but gave in and the result is an amazing look at a young man at the peak of his early manhood, looking at the camera with a challenge in his eyes, a determination mixed with a bit of wry humor.
Light, falling on his shoulders and upper arm and down the side of his face, adds an aura of the heroic. Nederland residents will recognize the boy they watched grow up, but will want to know the man he turned into.
Sue Daniels tied for the third place award with Serene Karplus, whose photo of reflections on water, “looked like silk.”
Richard Cummings work, “Out of Time Series,” reveals an intimate look into the faces of multi-aged, multi-ethnic subjects. He began his portrait career in 1988, shooting corporate heads, product photos of skateboard wheels and dog food to bodies in Yoga position. The series at the center takes modern day people and portrays them in a way that refers to a different time period. We see people as though they were their parents or grandparents, or a Hollywood star, or whatever we see. His work ‘illuminates a slice of character, giving the subject more stature than how we known them in real life.
His portrait of ‘Daniel’ is a glimpse into a person’s psyche, a person who is intensely angry, outraged, focused on revenge. This is one viewer’s interpretation. Rich says it is all lies. “We don’t see people for just a fraction of a second. We see them in a continuum. Each photograph picks a different moment. A painting is done over time.” Who knows what emotion Daniel would have conveyed in the next minute.
This year’s fall show was filled with artists not seen at the Art at the Center before and they all expressed an appreciation for the chance to be seen in ever burgeoning art community.
Art at the Center is headed by Annie Thayer and Tracy Brewer. Serene Karplus organized the auctioning of the community silk scarves that were created by the workshop participants in the June show. The portrait/photography show will be on display through January.