It’s that time of year again. Art of the State (you can see all of the images at this link) is up at the State Museum in Harrisburg, PA and though I did not get in this year, it is a fabulous show. Today was the first of three Artist Conversation events they are hosting at the Museum where participating artists give an informal lecture in the exhibition. The Harrisburg Camera Club members who had work in the show were all there – Geoff Crego, Jim Crowley, Andrew Hoff, Don Uvick, & Bob Willis (there were five of them who were juried in this year.)
It was interesting seeing all the different perspectives of the photographers who are obviously familiar with each other since they belong to the same group. But each of their pieces are entirely different from each other. Also on hand during the talk was the staff photographer of the museum, Don Giles, who helped to move the conversation along and pointed out similar elements among the works and also spoke in general about aspects of the pieces like how they read left to right or how some were pre-visualized and some were realized later after the photo was taken.
Having taken photography in the 90s when digital images were frowned upon (to say the least) it was really interesting to see how much of each photo was digitally manipulated. And all of these artists are older than I am, so some of them talked about how their attitudes toward the digital medium had changed over the years. Andrew Hoff‘s two pieces particularly would never had worked out if he had simply used film and tried to manipulate it manually in the dark room. He brought along some prints that were made throughout the process of his manipulation of the images and that was really cool to see the progression and how his creative process moved.
My favorite two pieces were the last two artists who spoke, Jim Crowley’s Abandoned Gymnasium J. W. Cooper School and Geoff Crego’s Sun Breaking Through. Jim’s photo was created using a process that combined six different images that were exactly the same but with different “exposure” times that once combined had optimum detail in all parts of the image. It was of an old, dilapidated building in Shenandoah so there was peeling paint, rust, dirt, all my favorite things to photograph. This image won Second Prize in Photography and the Purchase Award.
The other piece, Sun Breaking Through, is a landscape of the New Jersey shoreline. The clouds and color saturation are really wonderful and I love the perspective that makes the horizon seem to bend. Geoff showed us a print of the raw image so we could see how he was able to bring out the contrast.
It was another great Artist Conversation program. I had really enjoyed it last year, so I’m happy that the Museum decided to continue it this year. You should definitely try to get out to the other two: Friday August 17th at 6:30pm and Sunday September 9th at 1pm.