Naples photographers rise to the top

The third annual Camera USA 2013: National Photography Exhibition and Award drew nearly 200 entries from across the United States. Harry Benson, the juror from the Naples Art Association’s first Camera USA, returned to help judge the 2013 competition. He was joined by Christopher Rauschenberg and Ron Bishop. All three juried the artwork submitted, and the top 45 photographs were accepted for the  exhibition. Of those, 14 photographers were nominated to receive the National Photography Award.

The Naples Art Association is proud that five local artists were a part of that list. Below, read the stories behind their photographic art.

Erin Dougherty Williams Naples, Florida Michael C., excerpt from Eugene Community Portrait Project, 2012 photograph 30 x 20 inches

Erin Dougherty Williams
Naples, Florida
Michael C., excerpt from Eugene Community Portrait Project, 2012
photograph
30 x 20 inches

Erin D. Williams: I set out to capture authentic portraits, rather than casting models into fictional narratives. I also limited myself to the basics: black and white images, plain backgrounds, sparse props and “whatever you were wearing when you made breakfast” for wardrobe. I found that by limiting the environment, little was known about the context of the subject. This forced me to develop a new visual vocabulary.  Subtle details and context clues gained importance. The texture of ones skin, a piece of jewelry, a hair out of place all became part of the story. I also tried to capture the “in between moments” when people weren’t posturing for the camera. I became very conscious that my best shots where when I was just “testing my lights.” This became part of my process. Some subjects were relit 5 times just to get the shots they thought “didn’t count.”

As I began to get comfortable behind the lens again, I realized I could give back to the community at the same time; the Eugene Community Photo Project emerged. I set up photo booths around town and opened my studio to the public for free portraits.  In exchange for their time, each of the almost 700 participants were given prints. All participants were also included in a book and an exhibit that presented the collection of images in the form of a community portrait. The project brings together demographics, personalities and characters that you might not otherwise find shoulder to shoulder. These juxtapositions are intended to be as engaging as the individual portraits.

Dennis T. Goodman Naples, Florida Deadly Reflection, 2013 photograph 14 x 40 inches

Dennis T. Goodman
Naples, Florida
Deadly Reflection, 2013
photograph
14 x 40 inches

Dennis T. Goodman: Nature’s beauty has always amazed me. I realized that I had a tremendous passion for preserving my visions through photography when I was in high school. Most of my photography comes from the Florida Everglades and Florida’s natural beauty. The connection I have when I am in the Everglades is indescribable. My inspiration comes from the beauty in nature and it has become a spiritual expedition as well. Being outdoors and being a witness to God’s creations inspires me every time I go out to take pictures.

My goal as an artist is to showcase the beauty and wonders that surround this world today as I see it. The ever changing light and the details of the swamp are captured in the hidden world we often do not see or experience.

Nic Provenzo Naples, Florida Ladder Wynwood Walls, 2012 digital photograph 38 x 32 inches

Nic Provenzo
Naples, Florida
Ladder Wynwood Walls, 2012
digital photograph
38 x 32 inches

Nic Provenzo: When photographing “Street Art” photographers must be cognizant that new images are being created from others’ works. Photographers must respect the other artists’ works and realize that their images are now elements of new artistic creations. It is imperative that the new images are not plagiarized copies of others. The new images should be vibrant statements appreciated on their own merits.

Gareth Rockliffe Naples, Florida Dead Lakes, 2011 digital photograph - archival print 40 x 30 inches

Gareth Rockliffe
Naples, Florida
Dead Lakes, 2011
digital photograph – archival print
40 x 30 inches

Gareth Rockliffe: I have a desire to capture the “soul” of a scene not just the light that falls upon it. By that I mean I want to bring more to the photograph than just what can be seen by the naked eye…

I want people to “feel” an emotion when they look at my work. By doing this, I believe, all viewers will connect with my images in a deep and meaningful way.

Colleen Provost Naples, Florida Cypress Sentinel, 2012 digital photograph 36 x 24 inches

Colleen Provost
Naples, Florida
Cypress Sentinel, 2012
digital photograph
36 x 24 inches

Colleen Provost: Day on the Water Photography is an expression of how I live my life in the belief that nature is a gift. Focusing a light on what is often unseen and making it tangible for others inspires me. There is always an adventure when out on the water; from exploring the mysterious River of Grass waist deep in the swamps looking at virgin cypress hoping not to surprise an alligator to witnessing a mother dolphin teach her calf to fish in the 10,000 Islands. I hope to capture this beauty given to us in a lens and share it with those unable to enter into this magical world.

Other artists included in Camera USA 2013: National Photography Exhibition and Award top 14 were:

  • Overall winner: Tony Hertz, Pismo Beach Califorina
  • Cindy Seip, Coral Gables, FL
  • David Rowell, St. Petersburg, FL
  • David Wensel, Geneva, Illinois
  • Zel Brook, Corvallis, Oregon
  • Caleb Charland, South Portland, Maine
  • Marita Grotee, Mississippi State University
  • Richard Auger, Summerfield, FL
  • Jason Windebank, West Hollywood, California

Also featured alongside this exhibition, “Capturing Our World” showcases the work of Naples Daily News photojournalists’ work, including 30 captivating images by six photojournalists.

Click here for a list of Camera USA 2013 and Capturing Our World artists.

Naples Art Association awards $5,000 to Camera USA artist

"In full sunlight, I set my camera to ISO 3200 to obtain a high shutter speed with maximum depth of field. I photographed with Live View through a waterproof bag. Drying off the outside lens often, awkward camera positions and tight finger space were some of my main challenges,” Hertz said.

Tony Hertz, Gnarled Wave, black and white photography, 2012.
“My aim was to make an image contrary to what I shoot more often — long exposure photography. In full sunlight, I set my camera to ISO 3200 to obtain a high shutter speed with maximum depth of field. I photographed with Live View through a waterproof bag. Drying off the outside lens often, awkward camera positions and tight finger space were some of my main challenges,” Hertz said.

In January of 2013, the Naples Art Association issued a nationwide “call-for-photographers” and began accepting entries from across the USA. Photographers from 32 states answered the call and uploaded images of their work for an online jury process for the third annual Camera USA National Photography Award and Exhibition.

Harry Benson, Ron Bishop and Christopher Rauschenberg reviewed and scored entries for Camera USA. Forty-five photographs were accepted for the exhibition from a total of 183 submissions. The photographers presenting their work come from 15 states including all regions of Florida.

On Friday, June 14, 2013, the Naples Art Association presented Tony Hertz of Pismo Beach, California, with a $5,000 Award for his black and white photograph, “Gnarled Wave.”

Hertz appreciates the simplicity of black and white photography. “The challenge and discovery in making simple compositional elements in black and white and color deepens my personal meanings to nature. To me nature is like a sanctuary, a place apart. My intention is to photograph what is felt and not often seen. I enjoy capturing those moments that evoke mystery, mood and beauty, and sharing them,” Hertz said.

Photographic Artist Tony Hertz next to his winning black and white photo, “Gnarled Wave,” with one of the three show jurors, Ron Bishop.

Photographic Artist Tony Hertz next to his winning black and white photo, Gnarled Wave, with one of the three show jurors, Ron Bishop.

Hertz has more than 25 years of professional photography experience with 10 years as a daily newspaper photographer in California, photographing everything from U.S. Presidents, the Queen of England, Pope Paul, celebrities, musicians, famous sports figures and major news and community events.  “Working as a photojournalist helped refine my compositional instincts when I turned to focus mainly on landscape and nature subjects for personal and fine art photography work,” said Hertz.

His award-winning photography has been widely published, with worldwide credits including Time Magazine, Los Angeles Times, New York Times Magazine, USA Today, National Geographic WORLD, Sunset Magazine, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle and the Christian Science Monitor.

When he’s not out in the field shooting, he’s likely spending time in a traditional wet darkroom, editing images from a recent photo trip or teaching photography with Cuesta College Fine Arts Department in San Luis Obispo, California.

Camera USA: National Photography Award and Exhibition is on view through August 23 at The von Liebig Art Center. For details: http://bit.ly/11H1Zqv

Camera USA: National Photography Award and Exhibition is on view through August 23 at The von Liebig Art Center. For details: http://bit.ly/11H1Zqv

Also on view at The von Liebig Art Center, Capturing Our World 2: Naples Daily News Photojournalists

A closer look at the Naples Art Association show “Words, Signs and Symbols”

By Kristine Meek, assistant director of the Harmon Meek Gallery and juror of the Naples Art Association exhibition, Words, Signs and Symbols. 

Art at its very basic, unifying foundation is a visual conveyance of a story or message. Words, signs and symbols are the tools mankind has used to visually tell our story for millennia. But the meaning of words, signs, and symbols is determined by the viewer and as the viewer changes over time and varies over cultures, the meaning can change.

This Naples Art Association member exhibition contains a fine collection of works in a variety of media, all containing some combination of words, symbols and signs. I love how under a single theme there can be so much variety and so many stories told visually through the talents of the Naples Art Association members. I look forward to touring the exhibition with others to observe how other people interpret the story or message of each work. Everyone who looks at these works on the walls and in the corridors and lobby will view and interpret the piece based on what the signs, words and symbols mean to each person.

Betsy Gandy, Road Kill, Best of Show in Words, Signs and Symbols at the von Liebig Art Center

Betsy Gandy, Road Kill, mixed media, 2012. Best of Show in the Naples Art Association’s Words, Signs and Symbols exhibition at the von Liebig Art Center

From cave drawings to Jim Dine – yes, I’m comparing the pop artist to Neanderthals – whether it’s a big red heart or a big hairy bison, symbols are used in art to convey a message to the viewer. Symbols help to visually tell a story. The work I selected for Best in Show (which I have to laugh at myself for picking a work that contained a dog to win such a title), “Roadkill” is an example of symbols conveying a story. To me, the dog was a symbol of loyalty; the piece of black tire, a symbol of death; and the green grass, a symbol of healing.

When thinking of symbols in art, religious art comes to mind. I think of the medieval cathedrals’ stained glass windows that could tell Bible stories to illiterate congregations. Many of the works in this exhibition contain religious symbols. The work, “Eat, Pray, Love” that received one of the juror’s awards was a photograph depiction of a cross found in a kitchen in a small restaurant in Mexico. The cross is a long standing religious symbol revered by over half the world’s population. In this crucifix common kitchen utensils have been nailed to the cross – the rust is a symbol of blood; the forks are symbols of hunger. The photograph received the award, not just for the subject of the cross but also for the interesting composition – slightly off center and cropped to include a bit of the kitchen’s cliché wallpaper, with two of the edges extending beyond the composition.

Mary Love, Eat Pray Love, Jurors Choice Award

Mary Love, Eat Pray Love, digital photograph on aluminum, 2011. Juror’s Choice Award in the Naples Art Association’s Words, Signs and Symbols exhibition at The von Liebig Art Center

Portraits from earlier eras in this country and in Europe used symbols to tell the viewer about the sitter – a book symbolizing that the subject was educated; objects in the background, foreground and on the figure were hints to the sitter’s occupation, temperament, and achievements. While not a portrait, but to me reminiscent of one, “Bad Advice” made me stop and smile as I walked the room selecting works for this show. Even from across the room, “Bad Advice” made me chuckle. Thinking about the elements of the work: the purple knit beanie, the glazed eyes, the marijuana cigarette, the sign and ironic poultry; I image this man’s story.

David Fuller, Bad Advice, First Place in the Naples Art Association Words, Signs and Symbols exhibition at The von Liebig Art Center

David Fuller, Bad Advice, acrylic on board, 2012. First Place in the Naples Art Association’s Words, Signs and Symbols exhibition at The von Liebig Art Center

When I think of words in art I think of Dada artists like Hannah Hoch and of Robert Indiana’s “Love.” Words and letters can be manipulated graphically to show an old message in a new way. The work “Hortus Meus” that I gave one of the juror’s awards to was, to me, an interesting manipulation of an old idea. In these two paintings of orchid species the artist has included the Latin name for the plant, just like in an illustration by J.J. Audubon or an 18th century print, but this work is done with contemporary sensibilities and a contemporary font for the Latin text.

Marie Kinnear, Hortus Meus, Juror's Choice Award

Marie Kinnear, Hortus Meus, (diptych), mixed media, 2012. Juror’s Choice Award, in the Naples Art Association’s Words, Signs and Symbols exhibition at The von Liebig Art Center

The final part of the trifecta that is the theme of this exhibition is Signs. Signs in art are often subject matter in Pop Art, Neo-dadaism, and contemporary art made of found materials. “Chicken Feed” done in pastel has a more traditional, realism perspective and I appreciated that the theme of signs in art was represented not as Pop or modernism, but in pastel with a traditional sense of perspective and realist quality.

Tanya Trinkaus Glass, Chicken Feed, Juror's Choice Award in the Naples Art Association Words, Signs and Symbols exhibition at The von Liebig Art Center

Tanya Trinkaus Glass, Chicken Feed, pastel on paper, 2013. Juror’s Choice Award in the Naples Art Association’s Words, Signs and Symbols exhibition at The von Liebig Art Center

I wavered on including the purely abstract works but then thought about color as a symbol, so included those works in the exhibition. The works I excluded were ones I personally found less stimulating – their meaning and story were too obvious to me and they didn’t get me to want to explore more. I did include all the 3-dimensional works because I found them to be interesting for their variety of media and I enjoyed the clever use of materials some artists used for executing their concept.

This group exhibition contains everything from digital photography to pottery, from collage to colored pencil, from encaustic to natural materials, and oil, watercolor, acrylic, pastel, and pen. Styles of work vary from realism to abstract, conceptual to concrete, and from humorous to mournful. The messages and stories told through these works include encouragement, irony, religious beliefs, ancestral and cultural heritage, new experiences, new points of view, happiness in unlikely places, discord, and commentary on society, just to name a few. The works that resonated and had meaning to me, may not to you, or may not in the same way, and that’s what makes this show so challenging and so wonderful.

Kristine Meek

Kristine Meek

The Naples Art Association exhibition, “Words, Signs and Symbols” is on view through June 1, 2013 at The von Liebig Art Center in Naples.

Admission is free, but donations are accepted to support the nonprofit services and programming of the Naples Art Association.

The Naples Art Association’s April 2013 in Photos

April brought more than showers to Naples! Starting the month off was a reception for the season’s final Naples Art Association Members Gallery 2D/3D show. Art in the Park wrapped another fabulous season, a two new exhibitions moved in, several organizations held gatherings at the art center, One of our exhibiting artists held a special workshop for one of our sponsors, Vi at Bentely Village and more. Check out the gallery of April images by clicking through the photos below. Leave us your comments on your favorite photo!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Naples Art Association Members Gallery 2D/3D show in last days

The final show of the season for the Naples Art Association Members Gallery is on view for only a few days more during regular hours (currently Monday-Saturday 10 to 4) at the von Liebig Art Center.

The Members Gallery 2D/3D Show closes on Saturday, April 27, 2013. It will also be open during the preview reception Friday, April 26, 2013 from 5:30 p.m to 7:30 p.m. It’s free to members and only $10 for nonmembers to attend. Two new shows will also be on view: La Casa: Latin American Art and another great members show, Words, Signs and Symbols.

While you’re perusing, look for these pieces, recognized by jurors for three special awards.

Tania Begg won the Innovation/Experimentation Award for her work, "Ladies Man." Photo Credit: Constance Parry

Tania Begg won the Innovation/Experimentation Award for her work, “Ladies Man.” Photo Credit: Constance Parry

Leigh Herndon won the Technical Achievement award for her Rozome silk piece, "Dance." Photo credit: Constance Parry

Leigh Herndon won the Technical Achievement award for her Rozome silk piece, “Dance.” Photo credit: Constance Parry

Nancy Shelly won the award for Bold Spontaneity/Expressive Power with her work "Sunflowers." Photo credit: Constance Parry

Nancy Shelly won the award for Bold Spontaneity/Expressive Power with her work “Sunflowers.” Photo credit: Constance Parry

This season, the Naples Art Association awarded more than $600 to member artists in cash prizes for their achievements and nearly 200 works of art were shown this year in the Members’ Gallery exhibitions alone!

At a special reception held Friday, April 5 for the Members’ Gallery’s new 2D/3D show, all member artists of the Naples Art Association were honored for their participation and talent.

Members Gallery volunteer managers Betty Cioffi and Constance Parry were recognized as was Dave Fuller for his creative eye and talent for hanging each of the Members’ Gallery shows.

The Naples Art Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was founded in 1954 by local artists with a mission  to educate and promote visual arts in Southwest Florida. Through its programs, the Naples Art Association is dedicated to serving individual artists of all ages and skill levels, along their creative journeys. The NAA operates The von Liebig Art Center, located at 585 Park Street in downtown Naples. It’s open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays in season. For more information, please call 239-262-6517, visit http://naplesart.org.

Like the Naples Art Association on Facebook to see more photos from its events.

Call for Artists! Camera USA: National Photography Award and Exhibition 2013

Camera USA Banner Ad - Naples DailyAll photographers residing in the United States are invited to submit one photograph taken in the United States after January 1, 2011 for the exhibition Camera USA: National Photography Award 2013. Deadline to apply is March 26, 2013.

A maximum of 50 photographs will be included in the exhibition, and a $5,000 grand prize award will be presented to one photographer. The grand prize award winner will receive a two-night hotel stay in Naples and round-trip air fare to attend the preview reception and award ceremony on Friday, June 14, 2013.

Our inaugural juror and award-winning photojournalist Harry Benson is back for his second year and joined by two new jurors: Ron Bishop, the director of the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at Edison State College in Fort Myers, and photographic artist Christopher Rauschenberg. This award is funded through generous donations from visitors to Naples Art Association events, exhibitions and festivals.

Apply online at JuriedArtServices.com.

Now in its third year, the Camera USA 2013 exhibition will feature recent work in color and black & white photography from photographers across the United States. It will be installed at The von Liebig Art Center from Jun. 17 through Aug.23, 2013.

Naples Art Association member artists and students take home awards

Congratulations to the recent top award winners at the Naples Art Association! See these artists works and many others in the Members’ Gallery Scene in Naples show and the NAA Adult Student Exhibition 2013, on view through March 16, 2013 at The von Liebig Art Center. Also on view (through April 13) at the von Liebig Art Center is Following Footsteps: Three Generations of Plein Air Gruppe Painters, in the Watson GalleryDaily admission to the art center is free and open to the public Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Members’ Gallery: Scene in Naples

Bold Spontaneity & Expressive Power, Anne Chaddock, A Day at the Beach

Bold Spontaneity & Expressive Power, Anne Chaddock, A Day at the Beach

Technical Achievement, Tiffany Chang, The New Naples

Technical Achievement, Tiffany Chang, The New Naples

Innovation & Experimentation, Dayna Law, Solice

Innovation & Experimentation, Dayna Law, Solice

NAA Adult Student Exhibition 2013

Best of Show, Dan Jensen, Cannes

Best of Show, Dan Jensen, Cannes

First Place, Jacqueline Chizever, C’Mon and Rest

First Place, Jacqueline Chizever, C’Mon and Rest

Award of Excellence, Cheryl Blodgett, Equus

Award of Excellence, Cheryl Blodgett, Equus