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Photography gets exposure in Canmore, Banff

“It's really lovely to have this one festival that kind of showcases up and coming talent, talent that's been around and unknown talent,” said D.L. Cameron, Curator at the Whyte Museum.

BANFF – Shutterbugs will have their shots on full display in the Bow Valley for the upcoming Exposure Photography Festival.

The photography festival is in its 20th year of spotlighting photographers around Alberta.

“It’s really lovely to have this one festival that showcases up-and-coming talent, talent that’s been around and unknown talent,” said D.L. Cameron, curator at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies.

With 42 exhibitions across the province, there will be five exhibitions in Banff and Canmore showcasing the work of talented photographers. There are also exhibits in Calgary, Edmonton, Peace River, Crownest Pass and Red Deer.

In Banff, the Whyte Museum will be displaying the work of, Hans P. Berkhout and Arto Djerdjerian.

Djerdjerian is framing six years of in-depth documentation of the Ya Ha Tinda Ranch, which is Canada’s only federally operated horse ranch

“His whole thing was to follow people around, follow scenes and be as unobtrusive as possible and just really watch the scenes unfold in front of him,” said Cameron. “He didn’t set anything up. Nothing was staged. It’s every day, day-to-day things that are happening up at Ya Ha Tinda.”

Contrasting Djerdjerian, Berkhout has compiled his fine art, black-and-white landscape photographs shot on film.

“He just does film and wet darkroom, which is beautiful images in itself. A silver gelatin print is so much different than a digital print. There’s just so much more depth,” said Cameron.

“You’ve got the colour and the busyness of the ranch and the horses and then these quiet landscapes.”

To kick off the two photographers' shows, the Whyte Museum will be hosting an opening reception Friday (Jan. 26) at 7 p.m., where guests can meet the artists and learn more about their work. The exhibition will be on the walls until April 7.

“It’s a nice event to go and meet people, see the pictures and talk to the artists, and that is really lovely to be able to just listen to the artists talk about their work too,” said Cameron.

The now expansive festival began at the Whyte Museum after Craig Richards and Dianne Bos curated the first show in 2004.

“He and Dianne started 20 years ago, so it initially started at the Whyte Museum, which is kind of cool,” said Cameron.

Additionally in Banff from Feb. 4 to Feb. 25., Willox and Sax Gallery will have the work of Calgary photographer Ray van Nes, with a theme of Chinese terracotta teapots.

In Canmore, the Three Sisters Gallery and the Canmore Art Guild, which are both located in Elevation Place, will be showcasing the work of 13 artists.

On the second floor of the Three Sisters Gallery, the exhibit called Friends in Focus illustrates the work of six photographers, separated over 100 kilometres, who venture into the mountains and capture the day in their own unique perspective.

“As an artist group, they are looking at a real eclectic collection of photographs that capture their moments as they’re out as a group, hiking and photographing,” said Sue Hayduk, Town of Canmore arts and culture coordinator.

Neighbouring the Town of Canmore gallery, the Canmore Art Guild on the main floor next to the public library are laying out the work of eight artists. They call the show Beyond the Valley, as the photographs showcase scenes and portraiture outside of the region. Each photographer’s work surrounds a certain theme, whether it’s the landscape, a culture or people.

“Throughout the year, photography is a small fraction of what you see in the gallery. But this is a month for us to go 100 per cent photography and celebrate what people contribute,” said Kevin McCormick, a member of the Canmore Art Guild.

“This time we thought well, ‘let’s focus beyond the Bow Valley to give some of the contributing artists latitude to show other pieces of their art.’”

Both Canmore galleries will host a joint opening reception on Feb. 2 starting at 6:30 p.m. In the art guild’s gallery at 7 p.m., one of the showcased photographers, Mark Vitaris, will be giving a talk about his artwork, which will be followed by a talk with the exhibited artist in the Three Sisters Gallery at 7:45 p.m.

Additionally, there will be a small gallery in the Canmore Civic Centre, which is an extension of the two exhibits in Elevation Place.

“We’ll have a small showcase of some artists at the Civic Centre as well as part of Exposure,” said Hayduk.

The Canmore Art Guild will be displaying its exhibit from Feb. 1-25 and the Three Sisters Gallery will be open for viewing from Feb. 1 to March 11.

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