Viewpoint Exhibit History

Photographers Ruth Henderson and Richard Ashby come together from different approaches to amaze, confound, and astound us, with their images of flowers. Brilliant, compelling imagery abounds, and forms both precise and mysteriously obscured dazzle us.

Richard Ashby, using a variety of orchid specimens, seems to have created an alternate universe. We find ourselves wandering in it while we marvel at this extravaganza of shape and color. Ruth Henderson, using her combination of multiple light sources, slight camera motion and brief time lapse, compresses what amounts to a tiny motion picture into a single image, all in camera.

Viewpoint Gallery presents an exhibit of exceptional images by noted photographers David Gardner and Stephen Johnson, who both look closely at the Earth—its wild places and the influence of man.

For David Gardner, the impetus for Marking Our Place in the World came from a tree—festooned with shoes—beside U.S. Highway 50 in Nevada. After photographing it he started digging through his car for his own piece of footwear that he could add—and then he stopped, not really understanding why he’d experienced that odd impulse. He is interested in that impulse and its result as applied to the landscape. Gardner says: “As humans we must communicate – it is what we do best. Why are we compelled to ‘leave our mark’ upon landscape, whether or not others understand its meaning or semiology?”

 

Exquisite Earth is an extraordinary collection of works by photographer Stephen Johnson, one of the original masters of digital photography. These dramatic images were created in Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, Iceland, the American West, and elsewhere. “The grouping," says Johnson, "... is meant to convey my deep appreciation for this extraordinary planet we call home.”

In March 2012, Viewpoint Photographic Art Center is presenting something different. An internationally supported photography website will be featured, presenting the works by 15 photographers who serve or have served as gatekeepers for the vast collaboration known as 1X.

1X (1x.com) is an online photo gallery and social network. 1X differs from most other photo sites in that every photo displayed has been handpicked by a group of curators. The images on display at the Viewpoint Gallery during the month of March are selected works of past and present curators, including Viewpoint member Jerry Berry.

Only through the Internet could a group of photographers from different regions of the world get together and collaborate, become friends and curate world images for a site such as 1x.com. Jacob Jovelou and Ralf Stelander, from Uppsala, Sweden, have brought together these photographers by inviting them to evaluate images to publish on the front page of their website, 1X. With the basic premise of the site’s mission, Searching for the Sublime, these passionate photographers bring their varied viewpoints and often conflicting opinions to discussions on the relative strengths and weaknesses of each individual photograph submitted for publication on 1X.

Dark on Light, the January 2011 exhibit at Viewpoint Gallery, is the poetic exploration of two photographers both working in black and white.
 
Paul Rider’s “Drawn to the Light” images are abstract studies of light and shadow on paper, transformations that are contemplative and calming. The light strikes the curving paper revealing tension on the torn edges and palpable texture. Rider sees these as symbolic of world tension and conflict yet also envisions them as representative of hope and peace.

Larry Blackwood’s “Opus Corvus” is a study of ravens and crows with dark and mysterious overtones. He captivates the viewer with an unspoken narrative of movement, grace, and survival. There are overtones not unlike a gothic novel in this timeless environment and beautiful photographs.

 

The Live Photographers Society was organized over thirty-five years ago by Lloyd Fergus and others in the Sacramento area with the purpose to meet and share photographs, food, and conversation. The practice continues to this day. The group’s name was inspired by the movie, The Dead Poets Society. Five members of The Live Photographers Society are participating in this exhibit: George Erdosh, Lloyd Fergus, David Lindquist, Paul Mohr, and Gilbert Todd.

Photography’s very name is light. Photographers have long known the magic of mysterious shadows, dust-speckled light beams, whirls of spinning artificial light, the simple elegance of reflection, and the powerful moods created by contrast.

The December 2009 exhibit is Viewpoint’s first annual juried show. Photographers from throughout northern California submitted their interpretations of the theme, The Play of Light, exploring photographic interpretations of captured, held, and translated light. Close to 400 photographs were entered from approximately 90 photographers; 96 images will be exhibited, some in our new adjoining gallery.

In the third of a consecutive series of exhibits featuring color photographs of nature, Viewpoint Gallery presents the work of Rex Naden in the Step Up Gallery. After thirty-five years in the semiconductor industry, he now spends full time as a photographer of the natural landscape.

 

In November, Viewpoint’s Step Up Gallery features Rhonda Campbell’s exhibit exploring the cultural and psychological aspects of our ubiquitous doppelgangers from the retail environment: mannequins.

Campbell relates that this series began “with a simple photograph I took (and not a very good photograph at that),” a photograph that led her to understand that what she was photographing in storefront windows was “more than just mannequins; they’re life as we wish it to be.” She began looking closely at mannequins in her travels. “The more I looked, the more I found.” She found questions: “Does life reflect the mannequins or do they reflect life? Do they mock us or set standards?” And she found insights: “People are the same the world over. We all have the same dreams of glamor, sophistication, confidence, humor, and purpose. Mannequins give us that freedom to dream, if only for a few seconds.”

Viewpoint Gallery presents the work of two regional photographers whose focus is the landscape of the Sacramento area and Central Valley.

Stephen Fischer photographs along the American River Parkway, a beltway of undeveloped land on both sides of the river. It provides a natural sanctuary from the nearby hustle and bustle of the Sacramento metropolitan area. It is also a byway and habitat of the natural world that coexists within our developed environment and passes through and thrives along this photographic wonderland: nature’s corridor. Fischer’s photographs are in color and are seen primarily in the early and late hours of the day.

Gerry Tsuruda's beltway consists of the white lines, asphalt, and gravel of the ordinary and ubiquitous “roadway,” this landscape photographer’s most frequent path to successful pictures. Tsuruda has realized that most of his better images were taken from a spot along the side of the road or other easily accessible area nearby. This is certainly contrary to the romantic notion of the landscape photographer, but not indicative of a drop-off in the quality of seeing. Whereas Fischer’s images are in color, Tsuruda works in the monochromatic palette of black-and-white photographic tones.

From Where I Stand is a group exhibit of photography students from ten high schools in Sacramento, California, and the surrounding region. Working with both traditional and digital media, the one hundred photographs in the exhibit demonstrate the energetic, experimental and fresh perspective of these young artists. Clearly the points of view are individual, as the title of the exhibit suggests, yet the subjects and attitudes reflect the common concerns and experiences of today’s young student artists. The photographs illustrate technical competence in night exposures, portraits, landscape, motion studies, digital high dynamic range, black and white, and color images.

In its main gallery in May, Viewpoint Photographic Art Center presents Day to Night, a collection of images by Jennifer Wu, made between dusk and dawn, during the hours when many photographers have set their cameras aside.

“I found great joy the night I discovered that the camera sees more than our eyes can see,” says Jennifer, an accomplished landscape and nature photographer. She found that the kinds of exposures needed for moonlit or starlit landscapes showed many more stars in the sky than she saw with the naked eye. Experimenting with the low-light capabilities of current high-end digital cameras, she developed techniques to maximize the detail in the sky and the landscape while portraying the stars as points of light rather than as the ‘star trail’ lines characteristic of the long exposures needed when photographing the same types of scenes with film cameras.

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