A new exhibitiongives local photographers a chance to show what they can do.
Buoyed by the response to its recent "Kansas/K.C. Camera 97" exhibit, the Lawrence Photo Alliance is presenting a smaller showcase of members' works at the Paradise Cafe, 728 Mass.
Titled "The Old and New Member Show for the Lawrence Photo Alliance," the mini-showing features the creative work of new members who joined during the "Kansas" exhibit, along with the art of longtime Alliance members.
"We have several new members showing for the first time," said spokesman Shakura Jackson, LPA's chairman of exhibits. "Membership is up. The 'Kansas' show brings in new members."
The current show began in late August and runs through mid-October. The works of 26 area photographers are on display.
"We generally show the art of two or three artists at a time," said Paradise Cafe manager Ann Dean, "but this gives us the opportunity to show a number of artists. We like to get a variety of art and people."
Featured photography includes works by Lawrence, Baldwin, Topeka and Kansas City artists.
There is no theme for the exhibit and no awards are given, but it does provide a golden opportunity for shutterbugs to show off their own styles.
"The focus here is on the individual work of the artist instead of a theme project," Jackson said. "Artists like to share, get feedback and have people view their work."
Many people need to express themselves artistically, Jackson said, and a camera provides a ready outlet for many.
"Everyone has life experiences; they see art and have a world view. By using a camera you can illustrate what you see more readily than with drawing and painting, which requires developing the hand-eye coordination," she said.
Citing an increase in the number of people taking up photography, Jackson said the LPA was keeping busy with exhibit planning, projects and educational forums.
LPA meets from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt. Members include beginners, amateurs and professionals, along with a few who love photography but don't carry a camera themselves.
"Really, anyone can join. Being interested in photography is the main qualification," Jackson said.
At LPA meetings the business of exhibits is discussed, and there is always a creative program. The group tries to show four major exhibits and several smaller ones each year.
Recent programs have included slide exhibits of area artists and hands-on technique demonstrations, including hand-coloring photos and matting and framing prints.
A current LPA project is a Douglas County historical assignment. All member photographers are out "shooting" Douglas County historical landmarks for a showing at Watkins Community Museum of History, 1047 Mass. The artists will have the opportunity to donate the artwork to the museum's permanent collection.
All of this activity leaves Jackson excited about the art of photography.
"If you really see things, if you're really looking and really aware and if you have a sense of light, you can capture a 'moment of time.' You can express it with a camera," she said.