Art Through The Lens
Yeiser Art Center
It’s said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I guess that goes for photography, too. It’s all about what you see in the picture, what emotions it evokes. Does it make you want to look deeper?
The photograph above won First Place in the Art Through The Lens – Regional Showcase. No one was more surprised than me! But the judge said he kept going back to it, trying to try figure it out. So he looked deeper. And that netted me First Place and a check that almost covered the cost of the frame.
Art Through the Lens is an annual exhibit at the Yeiser Art Center. It’s an international juried show for photography, and I entered on a whim because the museum was in Kentucky. I submitted five photographs (at a hefty fee) and two were accepted into the Regional Showcase.
The Regional Showcase is kind of an also-ran contest. After the judges pick the photos for the main event they go back and look at all the submissions from local artists. So that’s how I got into the show. I was local. Well, four hours away actually, but close enough!
Art Through The Lens exhibit was presented gallery-style, where all the photographs were mounted on the walls in a big room. You can wander around and look at the work and say to yourself, “I don’t get it” or “I can take a better picture than that!” But of course at a gallery opening what you say out loud is very different because the artist might be standing right next to you. So I found myself saying things that sounded important, like “This piece is evocative of the trauma of mortality” or “I like the didactic use of light refraction.” I have no idea what those things meant, but the artist standing next to me seemed pleased.
I did get a lot of questions about my piece “Vile Vials” – although it kind of ruined the mystery when I explained that those weird color blobs were actually blood sample vials in a hospital dispenser. See, it just spoils it for everybody. I need to concoct some other explanation that has an artsy zing to it.
Near the end of Opening Night the curator and judges presented the awards. They went through all the Honorable Mentions first and I stopped listening after that because there were so many other great photographs in the Regional Showcase. When they called out my name for first prize for “The Sherwood” Tim had to nudge me forward to accept the award. I was so stunned that I took the check and slunk back to the corner without even thanking the judge. I did go back to thank him later when I regained my composure, but I’ll need to work on that acceptance speech for the future.
Anyway, this little success has spurred me to take photography more seriously. I’ll be insufferable from now on, sticking a camera into everybody’s business.
In a week or two the Yeiser will be posting the official Art Through The Lens show catalog online. You’ll be able to see all the artwork at the show from their website – www.theyeiser.org.
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