Durango Arts Center has a full slate of openings tonight (Friday), including “Innocent Wisdom: Juanita Ainsley and the Art of Discovery,” “Science and Story by Rebecca Lynn Dash,” “Color Visions – Paintings by Mike Scieszka” and “Sands of Oman – The Photography of Margy Dudley.”
Dudley, owner of Open Shutter Gallery, which she closed in 2016 and has since been working on her own photography and traveling, was asked to show her work about a year ago by The Friends of the Art Library.
“I knew this trip to Oman was coming up, and it’s something that I thought would really be unique,” she said.
Dudley spent two weeks this past November in Oman, in the Middle East, where she said it was a great experience, especially meeting people. “They’re open, and they’re welcoming and they’re friendly. I felt welcomed, for sure,” she said.
Dudley said that while she was there, she took 1,793 photos, which she whittled down to 24 for the show. She said for her, the biggest challenge was editing.
“I find it very hard,” she said. “You just try to decide what is the story exactly you want to tell about this place? Travel photography more recently has become my main form of photography. It’s visual storytelling to me. It’s how I see something, how I want to bring it back and show it to other people, and that, of course, involves the editing process, the things I select, whether I crop them, and the presentation, the framing, all create a story, mostly a story about place.”
Immediately after the artist reception Friday night at DAC, Dudley will give a presentation, not so much about the trip to Oman itself, but more about her editing process.
For Dudley, her travel photography is not only her way of telling a story, it’s also a way to expose people to things they may have never seen before.
“I feel like it gives people, because of the subject matter, an insight into something that they might not have known about,” she said. “And also, it’s different from what you might hear about the Middle East if you clump it together from the news. It is right next door to Yemen, and that’s the first thing a lot of people say, and I thought the same thing. But it’s another country. I guess I want to give people a peek at a place that they might not have heard about or know where it is, and do it in a beautiful way, make it artful.”
“Sands of Oman” will be on display at DAC through March 9.