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Wednesday, 20 July 2016 12:12

Artistry of the Image West photographers on display at AGSC

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A diverse range of images created by members of the Image West Photographic Association of southwest Saskatchewan is currently on display in an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Swift Current (AGSC).

The exhibition, which is part of the biennial Saskatchewan Prairie Light Photography Festival, opened July 4 and the AGSC hosted a public reception with artists and a guided tour of the exhibition July 16.
It is the first time Image West members are participating in a group show of their photographs at the gallery.
Image West Secretary Winona Thomas said it is a real opportunity for members to have their photographs on display at the gallery.
“It’s really an honour,” she remarked. “I don’t think of myself as an artist as much as just somebody with a camera and it’s just really neat to be around people that do take such wonderful pictures.”
She enjoys taking photographs of a variety of subjects. Her photographs in the exhibition vary from landscapes to images of insects.
“I like light and different aspects of light,” she said. “Somebody has mentioned the golden hour, the golden light in Saskatchewan, but really just anything that catches my eye.”
She finds it very satisfying to use her camera to capture a brief moment in time.
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“For me it’s like a little treasure,” Thomas said. “You capture a moment in time and you can look back at it at any point. Someone else had said that picture means more to the person that photographs it than other people because it brings out the emotions. You remember the people you were with, the times that you had.”
Image West President Marlene Andrew enjoys taking photographs of the action at rodeos as well as night photography and landscapes.
“I really focus on the sky, what’s happening in the sky,” she said.
Image West Photographic Association was founded in 1976. According to Andrew the association currently has around 25 members. The group experienced an increase in membership after they started to have their regular monthly meetings at the AGSC about two years ago.
The association’s meetings take place on the fourth Tuesday of every month from September to June, starting at 7 p.m. New members are always welcome and it is open to photographers of all skill levels, from hobbyists to professionals.
“Everybody can learn something, whatever level you’re at, you can learn something,” she said.
AGSC Director and Curator Kim Houghtaling decided to create this exhibition after he invited photographers from Image West to make submissions for another show.
“Then on meeting everybody and viewing their work and thinking about it I really thought there was a much more major project available here,” he said. “I spent some time this spring just really looking through the portfolios that they brought me and so made a large selection of work.”
The works of 15 Image West members are on display in this exhibition. His goal was not to simply pick a certain number of images from each club member, but to focus on the artistry of the works that were selected for the exhibition.
“This is a selection of good work by each artist and if a particular artist was working on a series that may have had a dozen works in it and may stand as a group, then that might be included in the show,” he explained. “In some cases there is small series by individual artists that really needed to be shown together. In other cases there was just very striking individual works that made sense in the context of their associates’ work as well. So there were really strong photographs that paired beautifully with other persons’ work and that became part of the show.”
He feels the exhibition also celebrates the achievements of Image West to support photographers with their technical and artistic development.
“It serves as an acknowledgement and an appreciation of what they’re doing, but it’s just also good work and an opportunity to show a lot of really good photographs and have people really come in and enjoy the imagery that’s there,” he said.
This group exhibition will be on display at the AGSC until Aug. 28. Admission is free and the AGSC is open 1-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and 1-5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

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Matthew Liebenberg