Weekender

Art Alliance Photography Show highlights artistic vision

Artist Stacie Bird’s black and white photo, taken in Shingletown, will be among pieces displayed at the Photography Show.
Artist Stacie Bird’s black and white photo, taken in Shingletown, will be among pieces displayed at the Photography Show. Photo

These days, anyone with a smartphone can be a photographer. But taking a truly great photo remains an art form, and one that will be on display in the area this weekend.

The Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania will hold its third annual Photography Show through Dec. 15, with an opening reception Dec. 9 from 7-9 p.m. Gary Schubert, the show’s coordinator, said he expects 20-30 entries in the show.

Schubert said his goal for the show is to showcase “straight” photography, or images that have not benefitted from Photoshop or other editing techniques. It doesn’t matter whether a photo was taken with a smartphone or a high-end camera, as long as it was not edited after the fact.

“We’re not looking to have everyone show us their Photoshop skills. We want to see the true photographic image and photographic vision behind it,” Schubert said.

James Farrah, a Penn State alumnus and nationally-known photographer, will serve as the show’s judge. Schubert said he chose Farrah for his impartiality, something that is not always easy to find in jurors.

Schubert cited an example of a previous show where the judge had an interest in photographing wild animals and, not surprisingly, chose a photo of zebras as the winner.

“I wanted a juror who judges things without an extreme bias toward one type of imagery or the other,” Schubert said. “Jim has a lot of experience doing critiques of art professionally and for other venues. I will be interested to hear his commentary.”

Art Alliance Executive Director Marie Doll said the show is an opportunity for photographers of all experience levels, as well as artists who usually work in other areas like painting or sculpture.

“Many of our artists who work in other mediums also like photography,” Doll said. “It’s kind of an easy medium to try, especially with cellphones.”

Schubert said the Centre Region has an active photography scene to draw from for the show. He expects entrants will range from semi-professional photographers to those who take photos strictly as a hobby. He’s also interested in the idea of artists from other types of media submitting photos.

“I have a conjecture that every photographer is an artist, but every artist is not necessarily a photographer,” he said. “I’m interested to see if there is a fresh artistic vision coming from the artists that work in other media.”

IF YOU GO

  • What: Art Alliance’s Photography Show
  • When: through Dec. 15; opening reception 7-9 p.m. Dec. 9
  • Where: Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania, 818 Pike St., Lemont.
  • Info: www.artalliancepa.org
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