Dover Art League photo exhibit goes ‘On the Road’

 

This scene taken at Bombay Hook by Stephanie Seeman is a part of the Dover Art League’s new photo exhibit titled “On the Road: Delaware and Beyond Through Our Lenses.” An opening reception will be held at the Art League Sept. 11. (Submitted photos)

This scene taken at Bombay Hook by Stephanie Seeman is a part of the Dover Art League’s new photo exhibit titled “On the Road: Delaware and Beyond Through Our Lenses.” An opening reception will be held at the Art League Sept. 11. (Submitted photos)

DOVER –– The Dover Art League’s first exhibit devoted solely to photographs is now on display.

“Many art leagues don’t feature photography, but we want local photographers to know that they have a place in the community to show their work,” said Phyllis Shier, president of the DAL of the exhibit entitled “On the Road: Delaware and Beyond Through Our Lenses.”

Three photographers with a scenic focus were selected for the exhibit — John Fischer, Gary Knox and Stephanie Seeman.

While Mr. Knox and Ms. Seeman cover the “Delaware” portion, Mr. Fischer has the “Beyond” part nailed down.

Mr. Fischer grew up in upstate New York but his parents recently moved to Kent County.

“I’ve driven across the country seven times since 2010,” Mr. Fischer said. “I love exploring the country and I take pictures of everything I find interesting.”

In his collection of photos, taken in 14 different states, Mr. Fisher integrates elements such as bridges, staircases and abandoned cars. Another consistent feature is clouds.

“Ruby Beach” by John Fischer

“Ruby Beach” by John Fischer

“I don’t like a sunny day without clouds,” he said. “The clouds usually diffuse the light and bring out some interesting colors. Party cloudy days are probably my favorite to photograph.”

Another unique aspect to his collection is the medium. He chose to print the photos on aluminum without using a frame.

“It’s a process I found out about two-and-a-half years ago,” he said. “It’s unique and there isn’t a need for a frame. And for me, not using a frame heightens the impact of the photo itself.”

Dover’s Mr. Knox, on the other hand, chose canvas with a black frame to display his collection.

“I think the canvas looks nice. It adds a unique texture to the photos and the presentation looks clean,” he said.

That aspect of Mr. Knox’s photos doesn’t end with the canvas presentation. He also uses some black and white photography to highlight texture.

“I think for me, it’s the subject matter that determines whether it should be in color or black and white,” he said.

“I typically use black and white for photos that feature a lot of texture because without the color, the focus is more on the texture.”

Mr. Knox’s collection is mostly photos of Kent County with one or two Sussex and New Castle photos mixed in.

“A lot of people don’t get up as early as I do, so they can’t appreciate that beautiful time of day in our state,” he said.

“Those Who Look For Beauty Find It”  by Gary Knox

“Those Who Look For Beauty Find It” by Gary Knox

“I hope through my pictures, people can appreciate the unique and different look of sights that may or may not be familiar.”

Ms. Seeman’s collection also focuses on early morning Delaware, only featuring locations in Kent and Sussex counties.

“It’s not unusual for me to be up at 4 a.m. to take photos,” she said. “Sunrise is really the ideal time for me to take pictures, especially at the beach or places like Bombay Hook when it’s calm and I’m the only person around.”

For Ms. Seeman, also of Dover, taking photos is more than just capturing the perfect shot.

“For me, it’s a rush,” she said. “When I see a good picture opportunity, it’s really exciting and my heart starts beating quickly. I love it.”

Ms. Seeman presents her photos in a silver frame with an off-white mat.

“Most of my photos involve water, so I thought the soft colors of the mat and frame really complement my collection,” she said.

“On the Road” is the first formal, permanent exhibit where all of the photographers have shown their work.

Mr. Knox shares his work through Instagram, Facebook and his business, Forney’s Too on Loockerman Street, where he sells cards. Ms. Seeman mainly uses Facebook, to which she attributes her improvement.

“When I post pictures, I get a lot of comments and also a lot of constructive criticism which has helped me over the past year or two,” she said.

Both are also regular contributors to the Delaware State News photographic feature “Scenic Delaware.”

Each photographer had a difficult time choosing which photos to display — selecting 20 out of thousands taken over the course of years can be a challenge.

“I had some ones that immediately came to mind that I knew were strong (by) taking my opinion, the reaction on social media and store sales into account and others, I had to just sort through,” Mr. Knox said.

“For me, selecting the photos for my collection all came down to what I liked the best,” Mr. Fischer said.

“If at the end of the day I like it, that’s most important and if other people like it or want to buy it, that’s great.”

But Ms. Seeman looked mostly for a cohesive theme for her collection.

“I chose almost all scenes that included water because I wanted to have a collection that was tied together visually,” she said.

All photos on display for the exhibit are for sale and a quarter of the profits go to the Dover Art League.

“This is a great way for not only us photographers to display our work, but to help a local, important business stay alive,” Mr. Knox said.

Although the exhibit is already on display, an opening reception is scheduled for Sept. 11 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Art League, 21 W. Loockerman St. in Dover.

The show will run until Oct. 24. For more information, call 674-0402 or visit www.doverartleague.com.

Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at abrown@newszap.com. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.

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