With the closing of Open Shutter Gallery and the loss of the artistic foresight of its owner, Margy Dudley, there is now a vacuum in the community – a photographic one.
Durango contains an impressive variety of artists and performers who remain active in the community, however, none are as dedicated to showcasing contemporary photography and photographers from around the nation and the world. As a past manager of Open Shutter, the gallery prided itself in providing world-class exhibitions and beautiful photography books.
I now look to Peter Hay, the new exhibitions director at the Durango Arts Center, to pick up where Open Shutter Gallery leaves off. I task him, but also the other art spaces of Durango, to expand our community’s exposure to photography and the various methods of its medium.
Open Shutter may be closing its doors come November, but that does not mean an end for photography in Durango (acknowledging the large number of amazing local photographers), but a challenge. Look to bring unique, out-of-town, in-town, experimental, traditional photographers to the walls of our community’s establishments. Art and, specifically, photography in this case, is a form of self-expression that maker and the admirer alike cannot live without.
Help to continue the enrichment of the creative community in Durango and reach out. Research new opportunities you can bring to the community with grants from organizations like the Warhol Foundation to the DAC micro-grants. Become an Artist in Residence in another country or go to Willowtail and experience the other side of the La Plata Range while in residence there with the beautiful and gracious owners. Not a maker? Host artist and studio space; plan pop-up exhibitions or preformative happenings; help promote work with DIY artist publications. All the glory is not just in being the maker but in collaborating to cross-pollinate ideas into action.
With that call to action for the community, I now present you with my, along with all the artist who participated, the DAC’s contribution of creativity.
Celebration of singular voices and acknowledging the power of language within the photographer is the driving force behind the curation of artist and imagery for “Picture Perfect,” opening from 4 to 6 p.m. today. Featuring works by local artists James Cammack, Minna Jain, Brett Massi, Robert Zahner, Doug Gonzalez, and national artists, Chip Thomas, Sara J. Winston, Tommy Mathews and myself.
This is not a show of alternative process, digital or otherwise, but an amalgamation of voices speaking in a room of their creation in their own language. The differing approach to subject matter, the index of the image and final execution of the photograph speaks out from their layered experiences, personality and social economic, cultural backgrounds. The works on exhibition are reflective of the complexity of person and interpretation of their surroundings, concerns and emotions. Although varied in their approach to photography, the artists work together to present a contrary approach to image making and image taking.
Arista Slater-Sandoval is from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was the gallery manager of Open Shutter Gallery for two years, holding an MFA in fine art photography from Lesley University. Currently, she lives and works in New Mexico at the Institute of American Indian Arts.