Deer Path show celebrates photography
A photograph by Victoria Herring of Des Moines, Iowa, in the new Deer Path Art League show.
‘Art is … A Photo
The Deer Path Art League, Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois Road, second floor, Lake Forest
Opening reception 5-8 p.m. Friday, June 8, complimentary wine and cheese. Show runs 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, June 8 through July 27
(847) 234-3743 or www.deerpathartleague.org
Updated: June 5, 2012 9:02PM
Photography has a role in fine art too. And to prove the point, six photographers will share 50 photographs from their collections at the Deer Path Art League’s “Art is…A Photo Festival,” which opens Friday, June 8.
Jan Bell of Bowling Green, Ohio, an Ansel Adams award winner, joins Michael Brown of Antioch, Ill.; Victoria Herring of Des Moines, Iowa; John Granata of Lily Lake, Ill.; Mary Neely of Waukegan and Sondra Wampler of Taso Roeles, Calif., in the all-photo exhibition at the Deer Path Art League’s gallery in the Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest.
The gallery show will feature a mixture of film, digital, photo manipulation and pinhole photography, in both small and large format. All photographs will be on sale, starting at $175.
“It is a medium that oftentimes people don’t consider an art form,” said Vickie Marasco, gallery director of the Deer Path Art League, the oldest gallery in Lake Forest. “The variation of all of the artists and their different techniques will show that it is a creative art medium. It will be exciting to see what the artists bring in.”
Michael Brown of Antioch plans to bring five of his railroad photos to the exhibit. A full-time artist the last five years, but a photographer his entire life, Brown was a technical specialist for 18 years at Eastman Kodak until the professional photography division was closed in 2005, giving him an opportunity to enjoy the artist lifestyle he so admired. He now travels across the country each year to 20 art shows with his optical art.
“Photography is a medium of our time that everyone can relate to because everyone has a camera or uses their cell phone,” Brown said. “Everyone I know is a photographer so as an art form, photography is very approachable because people are familiar with it.”
What sets his photography apart from others, however, is his photo manipulation. After two years of studying the few photographers who experimented with the optical art form over the last century but “took their techniques to the grave,” Brown has created his own style of motion graphics using digital and color photography that enables viewers of his art to see the motion in photography just from viewing it at different perspectives.
“The zooming train is the most popular piece I’ve made in recent years,” said Brown, who has sold 40 of these pieces at $495 each. Comprised of 60 photos taken by a digital camera on a tripod, two pictures were shot per second for 30 seconds then cut into narrow strips, Brown explained, sandwiched together then layered with microscopic strips of plastic ribs, like corduroy, and covered with a lens permanently bonded to the picture. The result is a train that moves toward or away from the viewer as the viewer moves around the art piece.
“It’s almost a short video in a still form,” said Brown, who also has a collection of landscapes that change with the seasons that are on his website, www.michaelbrown.com.
His other four pieces at this exhibit feature Midwest and Lake County themes, are also kinetic in nature and three dimensional.
“Since our eyes are 2 ½ inches apart, our brain takes two different views for three dimensions,” Brown explains, “so the optical prints I make three dimensional don’t need special 3D glasses.
“The general public will like the optical quality of art,” Brown said, “and any railroad buffs will enjoy the trains.”
Marasco has directed exhibitions at the gallery for four years, changing out the shows every seven to eight weeks based on various themes, artists she’s met around the country while trying to mix the media whenever possible.
A professional textile artist who once designed gowns for the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia and had her own line of lingerie, Marasco, a Lake Forest resident, not only manages the League’s gallery, she’s also coordinating the Deer Path Art League’s 58th annual Art Fair on the Square, planned for Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 2-3.
Her next show is the Faculty Member Show, Aug. 10-Sept. 7, featuring work from some of the 150 members of the Deer Path Art League.
The Art League also hosts classes in acrylics, oils, watercolor and pastel painting, print making, drawing, art camps for young kids and now teens in the summer. Its artisan gift shop sells handmade art items.