So You Like Photography!,” a new exhibition presented at the Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County through Sept. 27, features work from 13 local photographers.
Museum registry photographers whose work is on display are Jennifer Tucker, Gerald Lang, Norris Lacy, Anne Cortese, Art Heim, Linda Hale, Stephen Althouse, Gary Schubert, Barbara Brown, Stacie Bird, Penny Blasko, Robert Baumbach and R. Thomas Berner.
Since the museum has several photographers on its artist registry, it tries to include photo art in exhibitions, and occasionally create a show exclusively for photo images. Instead of a theme that narrowed the focus, the museum chose to expand the concept. “So You Like Photography” refers to the idea that visitors to art shows often say they feel comfortable seeing photography.
“It’s curious because there is a wide, wide range of ways to express thoughts and feelings through photography,” said Patricia House, director of the Bellefonte Art Museum. “In fact our show demonstrates how disparate the various interpretations can be to the point where it seems the works do not even fit together in a show.”
The photographers selected their own entries but were urged to get creative and send works they felt were unique or challenging either in style, technique or subject. House hopes the museum ends up with an assortment of styles and subjects, and even some unusual and attention-getting material.
“We know people seem to have a comfort zone with photography,” she said. “We also know photographic artists can produce a variety of evocative images and amazing impressions. So I thought it was time to have a photography show at the Bellefonte Art Museum.”
House also shares with viewers some words from the photographers about their art form. The exhibition is highlighted with a collection of statements from the photographers, which are placed on the showroom wall.
“Better cameras gave me more flexibility but not necessarily better photographs,” said photographer Norris Lacy. “Ultimately, the quality of photos depends most of all on the photographer’s eye, imagination and experience.”
“Color either attracts me to capture an image, or distracts me,” said artist Stacie Bird. “When the color is a distraction, I ‘see’ the image in black and white before I hit the shutter. Black and white images highlight interesting textures that might otherwise go unnoticed.”
“Weather and light call me to go outside to photograph,” said Anne Cortese. “A single chance shaft of light is everything. Photography relies on quick decisions after you are comfortable with your camera.”
Since the museum is inviting many photo artists, it is limiting the number of photos to three framed works by each artist. Size is also limited to no larger than 24 by 30 inches plus framing. A number of the works in the exhibit are for public sale.
For visitors to the museum, the exhibition should expand their impressions of what can be done with a camera and how creative the lens can get.
“I think some visitors will find the show interesting and ponder what they expect to see as opposed to what they see,” House said.