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photoSPARK: The First Photography Show in SPARKcon

The photoSPARK traditional gallery.

This past weekend’s fifth annual SPARKcon was an amazing event showcasing our local arts and creativity. The cool thing about SPARKcon is that it’s ‘for the people by the people’, so it is only possible through donations and volunteer work. This year’s event had a lot of great new additions, thus making it the largest and most successful SPARKcon! One very exciting new addition was the first ever photoSPARK. In the past, photography may have been included in some artSPARK shows, but this year local photographers really got a chance to stand out and shine in their very own show.

Pictured is one of the volunteers and photographers in the show, Ross Davidson.

The photoSPARK journey began through an artSPARK (an already established ‘SPARK’ in SPARKcon) meeting this past spring. A few volunteers  attended an artSPARK meeting last April, and mutually decided that photographers needed their very own SPARK. So, the decision was made to have a location for showcasing a talented group of local photographers through a traditional exhibition as well as a digital display of works.

This was the TV displaying the digital gallery, which was also decorated with a gold frame to give the illusion of a framed photo. The frame was donated by Jerry's Artarama.

Throughout the summer volunteers diligently planned and organized what came to be a really amazing photography show.  The Fish Market Gallery at the corner of Hargett St. and Fayetteville St., was graciously loaned to photoSPARK for the exhibit location. The exhibit was a beautiful collection of photographs that where hung traditionally, a huge flat screen TV displaying the photos digitally, and a small studio/photo booth to take photos of all of those who attended the event. Credit is given to Eric Schneider for being the mastermind and creator of the photoSPARK photo booth. Which was a homemade photography studio  for kids, loved ones, and friends of all ages to pose with props and have fun pictures taken. The photos taken in the photo booth where then printed and pasted to a large board creating a collage of candid photographs.  The photoSPARK exhibit made the entire Fish Market space very attractive, interesting, and fun!

Eric Schneider working in his photo booth. In this photo he is photographing Andy Gloc, who was one of the featured photographers in the show.

In the end, the very first photoSPARK show was a great success! Everyone who participated in this event, from the volunteers, to the photographers, to the visitors,  was impressed and had a great time! Some of the photographers whose work was displayed, had their first opportunity to have their work shown and be recognized. Everyone involved got a chance to make connections with other creative people and talented photographers. It’s these end results that make these events worth while, to help people connect and get more involved in the community.

Pictured is Michelle Greene, Adrienne Taylor, and Mary Kay Kennedy. The three ladies who where photoSPARK organizers. Photo was taken by Andy Gloc.

So, as one of the photoSPARK organizers, I would like to thank all of those who volunteered their time to put on this great event! That would include: Mary Kay Kennedy, Eric Schneider, Rodney Boles, Michelle Greene, Ross Davidson and myself, Adrienne Taylor.  We (the organizers) would like to thank our jurors for taking time out of their schedules to go through all of the entries and chose a beautiful selection of photographs. Also, we thank all of the very talented photographers who entered our show, because without the amazing work we couldn’t make it happen! And finally, I would like to say we were so thankful for all of our sponsors and donations: The Mahler Gallery, JW Photo Labs, Jerry’s Artarama, Extreme Networks, Firebirds, and Optixa.

Hopefully everyone had a chance to attend some of the events in last weekend’s SPARKcon. If not, there’s always next year. The photoSPARK organizers look forward to planning and creating next year’s event, and would love for many more to get involved! If you would like to get involved, just go to SPARKcon web site for more information. If you would like to have a chance to show off your work in next year’s events, keep your eyes peeled for ‘call for artists’ which will begin again next spring!

For a fun look at all the pictures taken in our photo booth, and other event pictures, go to the photoSPARK flickr group.

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