Photography the focus of CAE’s June Exhibit

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 176 views 

Patrons were treated to an array of photographic images on Friday (June 7) at the Opening Reception of the Center for Art and Education’s June exhibit. Entitled Photography Dynamics, the exhibit included the works of artists Deborah Griffin, David Mann and Dan Snow.

Featured artist Deborah Griffin showcased a very modern medium proving that “one can go home again … if you have Photoshop.” Using the picture editing software, Griffin weaves images from the past, taken from late 19th and early 20th century tintypes and vintage postcards in with her own original photography to create captivating scenes that are both whimsical and mysterious in nature.

Griffin devotes 40 to 60 hours on each piece, perfectly layering photos and adding shadows to create depth. With each piece, she also strives to tell a story hoping to “lure the viewer into succumbing to the surreal place, to realize there is always more to explore, or mysteries that will be revealed if you spend some time in the story.”

Although known as a West Coast artist, Griffin is a native of Mulberry, Ark., and has a connection to the area. Paying homage to her birthplace, Griffin often incorporates local landmarks, such as Crawford County’s Silver Bridge and the Mulberry River Bottoms in her paintings.

Among her digital paintings, Griffin also showcased a series of tree and nature scenes using encaustics. An ancient medium, the technique uses melted beeswax, sometimes mixed with various pigments, to create a unique texture.

Occupying the downstairs studio gallery were images by Arkansas photographers David Mann and Daniel Snow. Mann’s collection highlighted his passion for photographing rural churches and structures. In his work, he has traveled to more than 25 Arkansas counties capturing black and white scenes of abandoned structures and historic buildings.

Snow’s work focused on the aftermath of tragedy. Large images of destruction and desolation following tragic events were at the theme of his collection. One of his prominent pieces, Historic Devastation of Joplin 2011, captured a home left in ruins following the terrible storm that swept through Missouri more than two years ago.

It was the first time for each of the artists to display their works at Van Buren’s Center for Art and Education. Griffin, Mann and Snow were all on-hand at the reception to visit with guests and share about their art.

The Photography Dynamics exhibit will remain on display at the Center through June 28.