Monday, May 30, 2011

Festival 2011

If it's spring, it must be time for the annual Festival of the Arts in downtown Grand Rapids. The 42nd year, with is pretty darn good for an all volunteer event. I believe it could be the biggest all volunteer event in the country.

I entered 3 pieces this year in the juried art competition and was lucky enough to get two in.

The first one, pictured above (in the middle) is a photo I took in January when my fearless photo assistant, our puppy Annie and I wandered around Holland Michigan for a bit and managed to get this landscape photo about an hour after sunset.

The second photo was one of the nudes I shot earlier this year. I would have had a photo of it, but I got sidetracked by some friends first, and then ended up talking to the juror and getting my photo taken next to my pieces. Hopefully I can post it later.

The opening reception was this past Thursday at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, where the show is being held. We got there late, so we missed out on the food, but it was fun seeing all the work that got accepted this year, and talking to people I knew.

I was also extremely geeked about having my work hang in the museum. I'm not sure why, but it feels more like my works been accepted than when they hang the show in an empty building. Mentally I know it's the same show, for the same reasons, but emotionally it feels different.

Since we missed the food, Dorothy and I ended up at Hopcat downtown. A local bar that serves great food, and specializes in all sorts of beer, it was a great place to end the evening. She liked it, and we are adding it to our places to go list.

The show is up for 3 weeks, and there is free admission to the museum the first week of June, during Festival itself.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Gary 2011

In what's becoming an annual thing for me, I visited Gary Indiana this past Sunday. 6 photographers, 3 models and 1 husband/sherpa spent the whole day either driving or photographing.

We left town around 9 am after waiting a bit for a some folks. After a quick stop in Holland to pick up another photog, we spent a little over two hours on the road. Arriving at our first destination, the old Lutheran Cathedral, who do I spot, but another GR photographer. He had driven down that morning to show a couple of other photographers around. While we were in the church it seemed like a constant stream of photographers and locals came through. During the 2-3 hours we spent there, it seemed like at least 6-8 other groups of photographers showed up. Unfortunately, people have been taking metal out of the church to sell, and it's getting even more decrepit than it was. While we still had plenty of opportunities to continue photographing in the church, we had other places to go, so somewhat reluctantly we left.

Next stop was the old Screw and Bolt factory. One of the photogs thought he saw someone in the building when we first got there, but we never saw them again. Of course we were making enough noise to scare anyone off. We spent some time here before heading to the last stop of the day, the old post office.

I wasn't really impressed at the post office as I had thought. Very little of the fixtures are left, though I did find the old cabinetry behind a sales window. Other than that it was pretty uninspiring. We really did not spend more than an hour here total before we decided it was time to head home.

On the ride home, we stopped for dinner at a pizza place in Chesterton whose name I didn't get. Great service and great pizza. I'm going back the next time I'm in the area.

We got home around 12 hours after we had left. I was tired and sore. A quick shower to wash the dust off, and I was ready for bed. I started copying the cards on the computer and then hit the sack.

I was somewhat surprised at myself for spending so much of my time photographing the models. I had planned to focus on architectural details, especially at the factory. But that didn't happen. I do want to spend some more time there in the future.

All in all, it was a great day. A good group of folks to hang out with, and the models were great to work with. The locals we ran into were friendly, we even got asked if we were making a movie. I want to go back and hang out in the area some more.