Europe on Metal
Photographic Journies of
Bob Kester and Peter Mahan
September 9 to October 15 during regular gallery hours, appointments for other dates are available. Call the AAO.
Opening reception 6 to 8 pm at the Art Association of Oswego
Artist Statement – Bob Kester Sept. 2017
Photography has changed the way I see, and approach the world around me on an everyday basis, and has taught my engineering side to dance with the right side of my brain. How did I get here? I shot a lot of film / SLR as a teen and young man, and even dabbled in the dark-room…trekking in Nepal brought out the ‘National Geographic Photographer’ in me…. then ‘life’ imposed a break from photography for close to 20 years. After much procrastination I overcame the fear of the new world of digital cameras and smartphones. A gifted young artist inspired me to the advantages and marvels of ‘iPhoneography’. It shattered my mindset about cameras, and reinforced my conviction that its the eye/heart/imagination/passion that makes the photographer not the camera. My first Italy trip in 2014 to Sicily was shot 90% with my iPhone and 10% with a Nikon Coolpix (a nice starter DSLR). My second Italy trip in 2016 to Rome/Florence/Venice was shot only 10% with my iPhone and 90% with my new Sony Alpha DSLR. I still love the compactness and spontaneity as well as macro-shooting that the phone-camera brings to the table….. My passion (sometimes obsession) for photography has soared in recent years, and has been spurred on through rubbing elbows with other artists (my wife, the AAO, and to a large degree Instagram).
In summary, my Instagram profile & typical hashtags tell my story: “Whatever delights, intrigues, challenges / Inspired from above and learning from others”
Artist statement, Pete Mahan, September 2017
This will be the third time my photography has been highlighted by the Art Association of Oswego either through a solo show or a joint exhibit with another photographer. For this latest exhibit I feel privileged to share the stage with good friend Bob Kester, whose recent photos of Italy make a great compliment to my own images of five European countries shot last summer.
I was a Drawing/Painting/Illustration guy in college, eventually earning an Art Education degree and garnering a teaching job at Hannibal High School in 1987. When the photography teacher retired in 1989 the program was bequeathed to me so, in an effort to prepare for my new responsibilities, I took a basic Black and White Photography class at SUNY Oswego. To my surprise I ended up liking the heck out of the medium and since that time the switch has been (more or less) a permanent one, at least in terms of the visual arts.
For the next 24 years I worked exclusively in traditional black and white photography and exhibited widely throughout New York State. However, I finally succumbed to the lure of the digital world in 2013 with an exhibit in Syracuse called Discovery of Being and have enjoyed the switch immensely. For one, my work could now feature color as an artistic element and secondly, computer editing opened up much more avenues for creative expression. Although Photoshop had been my photo editing software program of choice since 2012, I fell instantly in love with Adobe Lightroom last year and upon return from my month-long sojourn in Europe, applied that technology to the images you see in this show. My love of the program is due to its intuitive placement of all the best editing features, some of which allow me to bridge a gap between illustration and photography (thus bringing me back to my roots).
Finally, another recent “upgrade” to my photography ouevre is in the presentation of the imagery: larger and on metal (hence the show’s title). This switch was primarily due to my retirement from teaching at Hannibal where access to a drymount press, beveled mat cutter, and ample room space made it easy for me to do all my own framing. A secondary reason for the switch was seeing Bob’s recent imagery that he’d done on metal. Not having to do all that work was nice, but it also looked cool and contemporary as it sat out and away from the wall.
Thus with a bountiful photography excursion to Europe under my belt and all these radical changes occurring, it naturally followed that I pursue this opportunity to exhibit with my friend Bob, and I thank the Art Association of Oswego for allowing that to happen.