The next time you're at The Landing mall in Port Angeles, be sure to hang a left at Downriggers and enter The Long Gallery, a relatively new exhibit featuring the works of some of the Olympic Peninsula's best photographers. The second floor passageway, decorated in subtle neutrals of tan and grey, is the brainchild of Harry von Stark, who quit his day job several years ago to bravely pursue his passion as an imagemaker.
The Landing's owners, Paul and Sarah Cronauer, had seen von Stark's one-man show at Studio Bob's this past summer and approached the artist about displaying his photographs. The gallery, which nearly runs the length of the building, opened in July with dozens of von Stark's images. Because he so appreciated the opportunity to have his art on public view, von Stark decided to extend the favor to other area photographers.
"As of Dec. 1, I've turned it into a photo gallery dedicated to the art of photography and invited other photographers to exhibit their work with a monthly theme," von Stark said.
Currently hanging are fives images each by Joe Beeson, Keith Harrington, Doug Kurata, Jack Marshall, Steve Mullensky, Pam Russell, Ernst-Ulrich Schafer and Jessica Spisak, as well as a good portion of von Stark's creations. The gallery will feature approximately 65 framed photographs, all for sale because, as von Stark quipped, "Photographers eat, too!"
"Photography has the unique position in the art world of straddling two things at the same time," von Stark began. "It records and I believe it allows room for interpretation. I think the difference is between having the camera take the picture or the photographer taking the picture. That's the difference between snapshots and art."
In January, the gallery will be devoted to a black and white show, a medium that von Stark favors.
"I think I like black and white photography because (the image) can't lean on color for its impact. I believe I can tell a story with a still image - it's challenging to tell a story with just one picture," he noted. Von Stark said he likes the concept of being able to show all stages of an action and blend them to tell a story within one photograph via a little computer magic. His modus operandi in composing an image is "to strip away all preconceived ideas of what I'm looking at."
Each photographer exhibited in The Long Gallery has his or her own eye and visitors will be able to see distinctive views and ideas on photography.
"I want to make this place the place to come to look at photography on the Olympic Peninsula and to have an outreach policy to allow young photographers space. I also want to make fine art more accessible to people," von Stark said.
The Long Gallery is open 4-10 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; noon-10 p.m. Thursday; noon-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday and open for viewing only on Sundays. For more information, call von Stark at 360-765-0076.
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