It’s been about a decade since The Art Store’s last photography-exclusive exhibit.
Saturday, the store opens Celebrating West Virginia Photographers, a group exhibit featuring recent works from seven West Virginia-based photographers. The exhibit ranges in a variety of photo subjects, techniques and locations not limited to West Virginia.
The photos will be on display and for sale through May 6 at The Art Store at 233 Hale St. in Charleston. The opening reception is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday night and will include a panel discussion at 6:30 p.m. with the photographers — Doug Chadwick, L. Anna Forbes, Daniel Kaufmann, Brittain McJunkin, Scott Smith and David Stern.
Perry Bennett also has works in the exhibit. He is from Georgia but moved to Charleston in 2014 and serves as Chief Photographer for the West Virginia legislature.
Forbes retired as a prosecutor in 2014 to return to art. She has five pieces in the exhibit, each of which she took from her home. Some were taken in her studio and others in her back yard.
“None of these pictures [of mine] were taken with the view that someday they would be in a gallery,” Forbes said. “So it’s very gratifying. It’s beauty and it’s just nice to see, especially in this time that we live in, so much beauty.”
Chadwick has been photographing in West Virginia for the last 30 years. His specialty has been working with a large format, rotating Cirkut panoramic camera.
Kaufman was born in Vietnam and raised in Florida. He currently works as an associate professor at Marshall University. He has works featured in the exhibit from various locations that were collaged, or arranged, into a single photograph by using Photoshop.
McJunkin is a professor of internal medicine at West Virginia University’s Health Sciences Center, Charleston division. His seeks clean compositions of work with either a photojournalistic approach or a search for meaning in objects or structures.
Smith grew up in Pittsburgh but moved to West Virginia when he was an eighth grader. His passion lies in landscapes, either natural or man-made.
Stern resides in Charleston. He likes to zoom in on a tiny area of a recognizable object and ask viewers, “What is that?”
Each piece in the exhibit was chosen by The Art Store. The photographers were invited last summer to participate.
“What we asked for was their most current work,” said Maggie Starcher, assistant gallery director. “We went through and selected what we thought were the best representation of what they were currently doing and what we thought would bring a diverse range to the show, with different perspectives on the medium of photography in this area or region.”
Each photographer has three to five works in the show. The photos were taken with a variety of techniques, cameras, color and black and white and photo editing software, or lack thereof.
Visitors of Celebrating West Virginia Photographers may purchase the originals or limited edition prints of the works on display.
Reach Anna Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-348-4881 or follow @byannataylor on Twitter.