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fOTOatx Old Bakery and Emporium Art Gallery

oPEN lENS

The Old Bakery Emporium Gallery presents FotoATX: OPEN LENS. The online exhibit will showcase photographers Deborah Cole, Carol Acurso, Michael Penn Smith, Lesley Bradstreet, Karen Limbaugh, and Robert Ward. The exhibit looks at the different styles and techniques used by these photographers.

DEBORAH COLE

The Heart and Soul of Cuba: The People

Through occupation by foreign governments, revolution, communism, blockades and hardships, the Cuban people have survived. Their passion for life, love of home and family and incredible resilience have sustained them through it all. As they become more connected to the outside world through the internet they continue to retain all of the heartfelt values which make the people of Cuba an example for "loving what is" through heart and soul. As a street photographer I have had the privilege to interact with the Cuban people of Havana and the Oriente capturing the beauty of their faces and their everyday lives.

The Heart and Soul of Cuba: The Peoplerothers and sisters of this island nation just 100 miles to the South of the US I hope to reinforce the idea that we are all ONE in this world with similar needs and goals. And through this compassion emerges love. I will share images from visits to Cuba (December, 2018 and April, 2019) where I sought to capture the heart and soul of the people.

bio

Deborah Cole is a writer, photographer and speaker based in Austin, Texas. With graduate degrees from Texas A&M University and Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest, she has over 35 years of success as a business owner and organizational leader.

Deborah combines the wisdom of decades of business savvy with a deep, personal belief in the inherent potential of all people to achieve their dreams at any age. Through personal achievement, teaching business skills, and providing inspiring, practical Sunday messages, Deborah enjoys sharing lessons of possibility, potential, and performance. Letting Go is her story of unexpected transitions from a perfectly plotted and planned future as an entrepreneur to a topsy-turvy life where her creative talents emerge, and she accepts her new identity as a writer and photographer.

Whether growing her business to the top 25 list in the US in her industry, serving on boards or using her photography and writing to inspire and educate, Deborah is on a mission.

She has had work in galleries in Austin, Houston and Abilene and has been named Photographer of the Year for 2019 in the North Austin Photographic Society.

Deborah Cole's website: deborahcolephotography.com

"Boxing Gym" and "Cuban Fosforero"
(L)"Cuban Street Barber", (R)"Cuban Tobacco Farmer", (B)"Street Dance Party"
"On the Stoop" and "Tiny Cuban"

CAROL ACURSO

Pismo Light

"Creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is found.” -- James Russell Lowell, American poet and critic.

"This quote defines my philosophy of photography. A major argument against photography as “Art” is that it is intrinsically not creative, but reactive. I take issue with that - the photographer sees not only what IS, but what can BE. Years of shooting, reviewing images and projects, seeking feedback as well as developing personal insight all continue to clarify my style, my vision and what is more –the intent of the work.

My obsession is with the more “intimate” landscape, as I learned early at a workshop where I was dubbed “the Still Life Queen”.

While others were shooting the Cape Cod landscape, I was crouched over vignettes of flotsam and jetsam. Abstract designs in nature, the intricacies of life in miniature, the interaction of a particular lens with the elements of an image – this is how I see and what I shoot. As Anais Nin said, “We don't see things as THEY are, we see them as WE are. Well, I am an artist and the camera - it’s my tool.

"Pismo Light 1, 2, 4 and 5"

My goal therefore is to inspire others to slow down - to look more closely and mindfully at the often, over-looked scenes around them. I hope to encourage my viewers to “see” in a different way that will increase a sense of gratitude and joy in their everyday lives.

"Pismo Light 10"

Carol Acurso's website carolacurso.com

"Pismo Light 7, 9 and 11"

MICHAEL PENN SMITH

Shimmers and Chimeras

A set of images witnessing phenomena on the surface of water, mediated by reflections from sky above and depth below. Seeking to convey the relaxation and transcendence that comes in communion with nature, especially in one of its purest, richest manifestations, in the interaction of light on water. Influences include impressionist painting, and Miksang photography—a Buddhist practice of taking photographs “out of the corner of the eye”, without artifice, seeing directly.

bio

Michael Penn Smith has been a Vision Worker for most of his life, first in still photography and then more than 3 decades in motion photography--lighting and shooting film and video, and operating many tools of camera movement, especially the Jimmy Jib. He continues to work with motion, and also again with still photography.

Michael Penn Smith's website: michaelpennsmith.photoshelter.com

(T)"Waving Nature", (M)"Jacob's Well tableau", (B)"Lazy Stream"

“I’m enjoying returning to still photography for livelihood, and also exploring the power of photography for creative expression and for sharing human experience. When shooting I’m aiming to unveil the extraordinary reality, which glimmers beneath the ordinary.”

"Written in B&W&B"

LESLEY BRADSTREET

Nature Abstracted

"...my way of connecting with the world..."

Born in Lincoln, Nebraska Lesley went on to graduate from Northwest Missouri State University. After retiring from a long and varied career, Lesley picked up a camera and began to explore the world in order to slow down her “monkey mind”, and to learn to be present. Discovering a contemplative style of photography gave her a renewed sense of awe and reverence for the world we live in and has become part of her spiritual practice. These images reflect the photographer’s direct experiences of being fully present in the visual world, and her response to it.

"Stillness, Desert Rhythms, and Power of Water series"

“Photography has been a passion for me since my college days. It is my way of connecting with the world; of appreciating the tiniest detail to being awed by its vastness; of a fascination with its textures and colors, with its beauty, uniqueness and quirkiness. It is a way of seeing a world that makes it more alive and vibrant than I could have imagined.”

Lesley Bradstreet's website: lesleybradstreetphotography.com

KAREN LIMBAUGH

Sharing My View of Nature

"I have always had a strong connection to nature. I was able to start communicating my connection when I started taking photos in the 1970’s. I had a Ricoh film camera with a zoom lens that also had a macro feature. That was all it took, and I was off and running taking landscape photos and close-up photos of flowers. Since I had to have those photographs processed in a lab, there wasn’t much I could do with a photo that wasn’t just the way I wanted it. It wasn’t until 2001 that I purchased my first DSLR camera, and I started post-processing my photos on the computer. This opened a whole new world for me!

"Pathway"

I always thought that making a lot of changes to a photograph took it out of the realm of being the real photograph. It wasn’t until someone said to me, “Think of your photo as the canvas and you get to create the image the way you want it.” That was my epiphany! However, I still want my photos to look very much like the subject matter of the original photo, so I try to make subtle changes and enhancements, so as not to distort the true beauty of the subject matter. My connection to nature still drives my photography. I am constantly improving not only my photographic skills, but my post-processing skills as well. I am thankful to be able to share the beauty that I experience in my travels both near and far with others. Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder, but it is my aim to share the beauty that I encounter in “My Nature.”

(L)"Life in the Strangest Places", (R)"Where Will You Go", (B)"The Watchdog of the Seas"

ROBERT WARD

Street Art - Human Interest

"As a native Texan, I have been a photographer in various roles for more than 60 years and have witnessed rapidly changing equipment improvements during that period. Because of those on-going changes, I still consider myself an amateur who is always embracing new ideas.

I consider myself a photojournalist, defining that as portraying realism depicted as a moment in history captured by the camera’s eye while still telling a story for the viewer to define. My love is shooting action photos - sports, music, birds, and candid shots of children and ordinary people doing daily life chores.

I am a purist when it comes to manipulation of photos. I use a very simple photo editing app to improve exposure, contrast and cropping for better composition. I do minimum color manipulation and no adding or subtracting picture elements (No Photoshop).

I worked as a reporter-photographer for a daily newspaper for about six years and at weekly newspapers for several years as a do-everything person. I retired as a writer in the Communication Dept. of a State of Texas Agency.

"Low Altitude Flier", Beauty is Where..., and "Time for Dinner"

The only formal photo instruction I have was a graduate studies photojournalism course, taught by the late Dr. Otha Spencer, a friend, master teacher and nationally known photographer. I learned a vast amount about all phases of photography from the many veteran photographers I worked with or had contact with over the years. One special person was the late Elmer Trumble who taught me the basics of news photography during my first newspaper job at the Beaumont Enterprise in the early 1960s.

"Coasting"

In recent years, photography has become more widely accepted as an art form. I know of at least one university that includes photography as a major in its Art Dept. Students there have produced creative and beautiful art."

Credits:

Old Bakery & Emporium