“Art of the Camera,” a photography exhibit and contest organized by Art in Bloom Gallery, began in summer 2018 to combine local amateur and professional photographers displaying a variety of techniques. On August 2, Art in Bloom is bringing back the show, only this time partnering with theArtWorks to put on “Art of the Image ‘19.” The juried exhibit expands beyond local art to include national artists.
Amy Grant, owner of Art in Bloom, says the galleries share a vision to help boost our city’s image as an artist destination with a creatively driven economy. Plus, it’s theArtWorks sixth anniversary, so the timing was right.
“Working together allows us to learn from each other, share resources [and] promote photography,” Grant explains.
The exhibit will display 116 photographs selected from 250 entries across the U.S., and 70 photographers will have their creations hanging on the walls of theArtWorks. A variety of techniques, styles and subject matter are represented, with the youngest participant being aged 16. Viewers will see traditional, black-and-white, color, digital and photographic-based art, such as woven photography, scanographs, photography on metal and photographic transfers on sculpture.
“Viewers will take away a sense of wonder and joy at the variety and quality of fine-art photography in the exhibit,” Grant says. “The exhibit will inspire curiosity and imagination.”
All photographs were selected by Beth Handler Riebe, who worked in the New York City art world for 20 years, and curated the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 2013 Riebe established LOCAL: art+ideas, a Wilmington-based think-tank-esque group that supports the flourishment of art in local scenes.
“We searched for a juror with an expertise in art,” Grant recounts, “and who has experience jurying and curating art exhibits.” Instead of seeking out particular works to maintain an established theme (as a curator would), Riebe’s job was to sort through 200 anonymous submissions and create a well-balanced, dynamic group of varied photographs.
“After viewing all of the work several times, much like a slide show, certain themes began to emerge (landscapes, for example), and I used those themes to categorize and make selections,” Riebe recounts. “The range of works celebrated wonderfully realistic clarity, challenged the interventions made by a photographer and the photographic medium, or did both. This also informed the selections to ensure a cohesive range.”
Among anonymous photographs chosen by Riebe are locals Nydheri Brown, Emma Chryst and Trinity Moore, three students from DREAMS of Wilmington. The local nonprofit provides youth free, high-quality education in literary, visual, multimedia and performing arts.
“The selection of the art via a blind jurying process reflects talent of the students, the dedication and talent of the teachers and the importance of youth development through the arts,” Grant explains. “It is in the spirit of ‘Art of the Image ‘19’ to encourage artists to thrive and share art with the public.”
David Klinger is a local artist who will have four (out of seven submissions) on display. They are one-of-a-kind pieces, specializing in photography on metal, a technique that infuses an image into raw aluminum.
“Having a respected judge like Beth Riebe making the choice allowed me to look objectively at my work and question why some images were emotive while others were not quite up to par,” he tells.
Klinger’s past work mostly comprises black-and-white films of city life. Recently, he transitioned to long-exposure colored shots of Wilmington, “River Walk” being one. Strikingly familiar yet remarkably abstract, Klinger portrays the vibrancy and speed of downtown life.
Additionally, Riebe will give a gallery talk at the event and winners will be announced at 6:30 p.m. First place, second place, third place and honorable mention awards will be given out. Winners will receive monetary prizes. Folks can enjoy complimentary refreshments and a chat with the artists.