Photography offers fun, creative, therapeutic outlet for artists

Photography offers fun, creative, therapeutic outlet for artists

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Mooresville Arts is hosting an exhibition of photography from its 16th annual judged photography show and competition, which will be up at the gallery until July 31.

Gina Marques served as the Mooresville Arts photo show chairperson, and this year’s judge was Jeff Murphy, a Charlotte based artist working primarily with digital media. Murphy is currently an associate professor of art at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Winners of the annual photography competition were:

Category 1, which is Identity, first place, Sarah Johnson for her work entitled “Pieces of Me”; and second place Tesa Jones for her work titled, “Find the Rainbows in Life.”

Category 2 was Anonymity with first place going to Michael Thomas for his work entitled “Tuscan Winter Landscape”; second place to PK Donson for “Untitled”; and third place to Richard Caudle for “The Attic.”

Category 3 was 65th Anniversary with Isaac Edmondson receiving first place for his work entitled “Main Street.”

Johnson, who is from Mooresville, shared that she started taking photographs when she was a teenager “just to capture memories and has enjoyed it even more as I got older.” She earned an Associate’s Degree in photography in 2015 from the Art Institute of Charlotte, which she noted has “helped me grow into becoming a better photographer.”

When asked what she enjoyed most about taking photos, Johnson shared that she enjoys photographing people and enjoys “the people I meet and the different challenges in taking photos. I try to do new techniques and things I haven’t tried before. Some turn out great, others don’t, but it’s the fun in trying new things.”

Thomas, of Mooresville, noted that he “discovered photography late in life. While living in Saudi Arabia for eight years, I had the opportunity to visit several European countries. I longed to be able to capture the amazing beauty that I found in these places.”

So, on his 50th birthday, he bought what he termed as his first “serious” interchangeable lens camera “began a quest to develop my skills as a photographer.” He received help from friends who were photographers and soon Thomas became to feel comfortable using his gear and developed his own style of photography he said.

Landscapes and architecture have been his most photographed subjects but he Thomas shared he is occasionally venturing into street photography and portraiture. And what Thomas shared that he enjoys most about it is that “photography offers me a chance to explore the world through a lens. I enjoy the creative process of capturing a moment in time in a unique perspective. Basically, photography has become my therapy. When my wife of 35 years unexpectedly passed away, I used photography as a way to open up my soul and deal with grief. I am thankful I found this creative outlet at this time in my life.”

Edmondson, also of Mooresville, said that he had been interested in photography for about 10 years. He shared that he enjoys shooting documentary work and he “likes to create a visual narrative and tell a story from my point of view.” Edmondson noted that he “also equally enjoys practicing traditional photography techniques. All of my work is done on film and printed in my darkroom.”

In sharing their artwork with others, both Johnson and Edmondson noted how people have different opinions about art and they view it differently and thus, Johnson said, “I want people to see what they want to see. Some see what the artist is feeling, others see the creativity, some see something completely different. I like to hear what different people see and feel when they look at the art.”

Edmondson noted that he wants “people to take away whatever the image makes them feel. I believe that each image will be interpreted exactly as it should be by the viewer.”

Thomas shared that “when people look at my photos, I want them to think, ‘Wow, I have never quite looked at that subject in that way.’ Now that I live in Mooresville, I look forward to offering a new perspective on this community and region.”

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