Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Definition of Nature

For ArtzSake hosted an Artist’s Reception on Saturday March 22nd at The Studio 8 Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA for their photography exhibit titled, “My Nature: A Photo Gallery” featuring the work of James M. Smith. The exhibit centers around images depicting landscapes and events occurring in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. There was another reception scheduled for Sunday March 23rd with an additional opportunity to partake of the work and meet the photographer planned for Saturday April 5th beginning at 6pm. The exhibit was originally set to open during the month of February but had to be postponed due to severe climatic conditions and family situations that required immediate attention. However, the beauty of the images presented throughout the studio proved to be well worth the wait.

When entering the gallery, one is immediately drawn to the high definition and depth of field found in the images Mr. Smith captures. The impressive body of work creates the impression one is not merely looking at a framed photograph in a gallery setting but through a window in which can be seen and almost heard the stories each image has to convey. However, the frames created by the photographer’s son, James Smith, not only complimented each piece but furthered enhanced the living quality of the work.

Although the attendance for the reception I was present for was a modest one, a great number of photographers were there inquiring in regards to how such images could be presented in the manner in which they were displayed. Anyone who has even the most peripheral love for the art of photography found their experience of the exhibit enhanced by this exchange of ideas from the technically aesthetic conversations the exhibit and it’s artist inspired. The gallery’s atmosphere encouraged such sharings through its relaxed and welcoming setting allowing many the opportunity to simply sit comfortably so they can chat about the work, how it was created, and anything else a congenial conversation may lead to.

A nice array of food and beverages was provided including a jar full of grapes pickled in moonshine. Partaking of the intoxicating fruit was quite an experience but I found myself declining the offer to consume a second one as my dancing atop of tables days are all but at an end. Still, I found the conversations I indulged in with my fellow attendees equally intoxicating as they provided a deeper understanding of the art of photography and the nature of art in general.

It was during my conversations with Mr. Smith and the gallery’s curator, Sara I. Smith-Katz, (who is also Mr. Smith’s sister) did I learned the photographer began his creative journey as a pen and ink artists. However, due to a series of injuries he sustained, he lost the dexterity that enabled him to create the fine detail he demonstrated in his work. This inability to pursue one’s love left Mr. Smith greatly saddened by his life condition until he was offered a camera. This simple and loving gesture opened a new vista for the artists which is amply evident in the work displayed throughout The Studio 8 Gallery. #In addition to the photographs presented in the “My Nature…” exhibit, Mr. Smith is available to photograph individuals of advanced years in a natural settings. You can learn more about James M. Smith, his work, and how to schedule a sitting by contacting him at jmsmith1@stny.rr.com or at 607-731-4488.

The work presented at The Studio 8 Gallery was simply incredible and this out of the way venue should be visited in order for the effects of the images to be truly appreciated. The For ArtzSake exhibition titled, “My Nature: A Photo Gallery” featuring the work of James M. Smith will be on display until April 30th with an additional reception scheduled for Saturday April 5th beginning at 6pm. Their next exhibit has yet to be announced. In the meantime, you’ll be able to find more photographs taken during the My Nature: A Photo Gallery Artist’s Reception in The Stroudsburg Art District 2014 Gallery at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152239353790421.1073741877.636000420&type=1.

Studio 8 is located at 8 North 6th St. (on the corner of 6th St. and Quaker Alley) in Stroudsburg, PA and is one of the galleries within the epicenter of an emerging Art District of the town. A variety of art related events and classes take place in the venue which are offered to the public. The space is shared by Gigi and Company Dance Studio www.facebook.com/pages/Gigi-Company-Dance-Studio/200927543295977 which is owned by Jeannine “Gigi” Quinones offering instructions in a variety forms of dance along with performances and For ArtzSake who represents artists of nationally and international renown. You can learn more about For ArtzSake, their upcoming exhibitions, and all they have to offer by exploring their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/pages/For-ArtzSake/197412433691630.

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