Viewpoint Photographic Art Center: Celebrating 30 Years
I am honored to have juried this exhibition in recognition of Viewpoint’s 30th year. Photography is a large umbrella covering many approaches. The members included here work in diverse ways, but share a love for communicating through form and light.
The medium has morphed over these 30 years opening to imaginative new practices. But whether working with palladium or pixels, we all work inside the frame. Additionally, the camera depends on what is in front of it for that initial image. This past year has been especially challenging for a medium that requires engagement.
The images in this show represent several different working methods Viewpoint’s members adopted. Getting out into the landscape remained a safe and sane option for many. Be it the clarity of a feather or swirl of the sea, being outdoors provided subject matter and respite. The ability to move about and photograph felt a little bit like normal.
Others used their cameras to emphasize something modest or abstract. This painterly approach celebrates color, texture and form. Being able to place that frame and emphasize these qualities provided purpose.
Another way of working in 2020 was to look back into images undone. For these members, returning to their archives, memories of experiences we could no longer have, gave them routine. Re-seeing something allowed for new interpretations. Some of these images may have been lost to time had it not been for the upside-down abundance of time while being homebound.
There were those who sought to communicate what it felt like to be alive in 2020. Perhaps it was making a portrait of someone in a common household or documenting the eeriness of an empty street at night, these images will always be tied to a definite place and time.
Photography gives voice to these many approaches. Viewpoint Photographic Art Center has made room for these conversations.
Patty Felkner (March 2021)