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Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016 12:11 am

Time for refleXions at Prairie Art Alliance

New technology allows old-timey feel for photographs by Ginny Lee

“Bremer Prairie,” by Ginny Lee, is part of the exhibition at Hoogland Center for the Arts through Feb. 25.


Prairie Art Alliance member artist Ginny Lee has come to terms with technology. “Even a year ago I was a little bit iffy about showing iPhone photos made with apps. But then it become such a phenomenon internationally, I thought - OK!” Lee is currently exhibiting a variety of photos as part of “refleXions,” the new exhibit at the H.D. Smith Gallery inside the Hoogland Center for the Arts. This is the first new show mounted in the space since the PAA announced its merger with the Springfield Art Association at the beginning of the year. In addition to Lee’s photographs, the exhibit features drawing and painting by Greg Walbert and woodwork by Brian A. Allen.

“I am showing some new work and some old work, some darkroom prints and some new digital prints,” says Lee. As mentioned, some of these new prints were made on archival photo paper with images created using iPhone apps (specifically Instagram and Hipstomatic) with effects created by Lee playing around with the apps’ preset filters until she finds something she likes. This method lends the resulting images what Lee describes as a timeless feel. “They look like a 19th century photo,” she says, acknowledging the irony of using modern technology to create an old-timey feel.  The digitally rendered images were printed on beautiful fiber paper.

Lee has long been in the habit of photographing abandoned trucks and vehicles along with other roadside curiosities and a unique pair of photos on display in “refleXions” is the result of a chance encounter. “There is a photo of an International Harvester truck that I made with film about 12 years ago and I had forgotten where it was – somewhere northwest of Springfield – and this summer I was out driving two-lane country roads and just caught the view in the corner of my eye as I was driving by – and I recognized it immediately!” She soon made a new, digital photo of the further decayed truck over a decade later. “The main change is that the truck had sunk a few more inches down into the land but essentially the composition is the same,” she says.

When asked about the merger between the PAA and the Springfield Art Association, Lee is enthusiastic. “I’m very pleased,” she says. “We get to keep our gallery, which was a big concern, but I think it’s a win-win for us and I think most members agree.”

“refleXions” will remain on display at the H.D. Smith Gallery through Feb. 25. For further information visit http://www.prairieart.org/exhibits.asp.

Scott Faingold can be reached at  sfaingold@illinoistimes.com       


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