From July 19 - August 19, the Allegany Arts Council's Saville Gallery will present "Two Visions: Exhibition of Black and White Photography" featuring Penny Knobel-Besa and Sterling "Rip" Smith. An opening reception for the exhibition will be held at the Saville Gallery on Saturday, July 21 from 6-8PM.
Penny Knobel-Besa is an award winning fine arts photographer, once named Maryland Photographer of the Year, was featured on Maryland Public Television, and published in several literary publications. She exhibits regionally and in Europe most recently in Vienna, Austria in 2011. She teaches the “Art of Photography” from Sanctuary Studios which she shares with her artist husband Hilmar Gottesthal in the Flintstone area.
While talking about this exhibition, Knobel-Besa reminisced, “Like many photographers I started taking photographs as a child and if you grew up in the 50’s when you went to the Ritz Camera store to pick them up they were pure black and white images. Maybe that’s why before digital arrived I use to carry two 35mm cameras around my neck one with color film and the other B. & W. As a candid photographer I found many times I would see something and instantly know it should be seen in black and white rather than color. Now when I see everyday occurrences, people getting on an elevator, waiting to cross a street, or creating shadows as they exit a museum, I grab that moment and freeze it if I have a camera. Otherwise I’m like a fisherman talking about the one that got away."
"So my vision for this exhibition is to show the art I found in Random Moments, some with a humorous edge like a bride pulling on her wedding dress over striped bikini underwear that says, 'Touchdown.' Of course I love color and when it smacks you in the face I never resist, but this vision is strictly B&W.”
Sterling “Rip” Smith is a photographer from Martinsburg, West Virginia. "Many photographers are drawn to abandoned places, buildings, and vehicles or other objects. I am no exception. Not only is the visual impact of such things reason enough to want to photograph them, there is poignancy in places and things that were once useful or loved that are now no longer so. So when I had the opportunity in May 2010 to participate in a workshop entitled 'Abandoned Farms of North Dakota' with Tillman Crane I jumped at the chance."
"For a week, eight other photographers and I explored locations around Rugby, North Dakota, coincidentally the 'Geographic Center of North America.' During those six days I was captivated by the visual feast offered by the old houses, barns, abandoned vehicles, and the wonderful surprising texture of the prairie landscape. After I returned home I started working on editing the images that I captured during that week I decided that although I felt I captured some good images, I realized that in such a short trip I had barely scratched the surface of the visual potential of the region."
"So I planned a second trip for September. This time I drove my car, three days out and three days back. I was completely on my own. For nine days, having no requirement to be in any particular place at any particular time, it left me free to photograph whatever I found on back roads and in small villages throughout the northeast quadrant of the state. Although this project is primarily an art project, I think it also tells a powerful story. Much of the history of the Northern Plains is found in the abandoned farms and all-but-abandoned towns, which reflect the evolving economy of the region."
For additional information about exhibitions in the Allegany Arts Council's Saville Gallery, please email email@example.com, or call 301-777-ARTS (2787).