CARMEL — The Carmel Center for Photographic Art 2013 Juried Exhibition opened Jan. 12 and will run through March 1. As many photo officionados know, this center has grown from such luminaries as Ansel Adams, Brett Weston, Wynn Bullock and Morley Baer, who in 1967 founded the renowned Friends of Photography. Their interests were in exhibiting photographs of the incomparably beautiful Central Coast.
Since 1988, the CPA has operated as a community that practices, supports and advances photography as a vital art form in the very same space that the Friends of Photography once occupied at the historic Sunset Center. The CPA believes that photography is a powerful language for creating, interpreting and expressing meaning. And, indeed, this exhibition follows that philosophy.
In 1990, there were perhaps 100 local and state photographers applying for a place in this exhibit. This 2013 exhibition had as many as 3,000 photographers, locally, nationally and internationally, applying for a place in this exhibit, thus making the CPA a very dynamic, well-known and important place for exhibiting photographic art. From those thousands, 49 were chosen.
Jurors Den Brierly and Chris Johnson chose eclectic-type photos. None of the photos were run-of-the mill to be used in your picture album at home. The images were manipulated, created in a dark room, mostly experimental, using hands-on techniques. The third-place winner, “Mental Health Hospital Indonesia” by Wendell Phillips, was a dramatic expression of the above, and it was easy to see why he was one of the winners. The second-place winner, Nolan Preece’s “Ouranos & Kronos (cliché verre),” magically enticed the viewer’s eyes over and over again because of his unusual use of an ink-jet print. I couldn’t take my eyes from straying back to this gorgeous photograph, even though I wasn‘t complete sure of what it was describing.
The exhibit was astounding in its diversity. Nude nymphets dancing and prancing about; a sad, dirty street person from New York City; strangely dark sunsets; some disheveled looking people, and other photos caught your imagination, making you wonder where these photos were taken and what the photographer was wanting to do with them. All serious students of photography should take themselves to this CPA exhibit, post-haste.
The CPA asks for your participation, your passion, your membership and your support, whether or not you are an amateur, or professional photographer, photography student, collector or an ardent disciple of this art form. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 1-5 p.m. They are closed Mondays and some holidays. Call (831) 625-5181 or email: www.photography.org for more information.