MPS committee preps 2014 show
Boothbay Harbor — They hail from Boothbay, South Portland, Chelsea, Jefferson, Camden, Winthrop, East Livermore, Augusta and Harpswell; and several have been around for the Maine Photography Show's nine years. Photography is a big part of their lives and serving on a committee that showcases the work of others is passion. They are 10 in number and choosing the image for the annual show catalog is just one of the many tasks they share. "They" are the Maine Photography Show committee of volunteers and when Volunteer Recognition Week rolls around, they will be spending their time hanging and opening the annual Maine Photography Show.
Steve Dunn of Chelsea, an impressionist photographer and one of the original committee members, bought into the late Jim Taliana's concept of staging a show just for Maine photographers similar to those for painters. Taliana envisioned such a show would inspire Maine photographers of all ages and increase interest in the art of photography in the state of Maine, and it has. Dunn is the committee's engine when it comes to finding jurors. In 2014, he has been working with Freeman Patterson.
"I have had the opportunity to work with truly wonderful and creative people from museum curators to world renown photographers," Dunn said.
Nature photographer Bruce Burnham of Boothbay, chairman for six of the nine MPS shows, also bought into Taliana's vision. Taliana and Burnham were both members of Boothbay Region Art Foundation, the annual presenter of the show and home to the yearly three-week gallery exhibit.
"As the local person, it makes sense for me to be the chair. The show planning needs attention year-round," said Burnham. "And it's been great growing with the rest of the committee over the years. My favorite aspect is meeting the photographers who submit their work and matching them to their image. I am always astounded by the wonderful and creative images we as a committee get to view."
Past MPS chairwoman, past president of the Maine Professional Photographer's Association, Maine Professional Photographer of the Year and wedding and portrait photographer LeeAnn LaFleur of East Livermore also enjoys meeting the photographers and the challenges that come with hanging the images selected for the show.
Behind the scenes, many tasks are done to focus beyond the camera. Landscape photographer David Hodsdon of Jefferson came on board because there was a need for someone with computer word processing and data manipulation skills.
“As a retired engineer, I very much enjoy technical challenges," he said.
Camden's Norbert Leser maintains the event's website. Zoe Theberge of Harpswell looks for sponsorship opportunities. Boothbay's Peggy Powis produces the annual video. Freestyle photographer Sandy Wescott of South Portland said she likes sending all the acceptance letters out, seeing all the prints as they trickle in and hanging the show. Augusta-based nature photographer Linwood Riggs creates and edits MPS documents, prints the gallery tags and assists with mailings and hanging the artwork. His huge contribution often comes with the thankless job of proofreading.
Large format film-based classic black and white landscape photographer Bob Darby of Winthrop likes the size of the show, which has just over 100 selections. His personal photography gives him time to look, to see and enjoy where he is. With the patience and desire to enjoy where he is, Darby has become the committee's producer of the annual show catalog. Each image gets his full and patient attention.
Picking the cover of the catalog requires the participation of all members of the MPS committee; the 2014 winner will be announced at the invitation-only opening night awards reception. The ninth annual Maine Photography Show will open to the public Saturday, April 12, at the downtown Boothbay Region Art Foundation Gallery. Admission is free, but catalogs are not; they will be available after April 11 for $29.95 plus $5 shipping. To insure availability, they should be pre-ordered by calling 633-2703.
For more information, visit mainephotographyshow.com. Any questions can be directed to Burnham at 380-1863 or Boothbay Region Art Foundation at the number listed above.
Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or firstname.lastname@example.org.