gallery 406 To Feature Bodie Ghost Town Photo Exhibit
Photography has been so very, very good to my wife and me. There are the beautiful and interesting locations we have visited, the images we have made, the (still) improving skills we have picked up along the way. But most important of all, so very most important of all are the dear and close friends we have made these past four years. There is no doubt in my mind that God led us to Bill Fortney’s Savannah workshop when we knew little about him and even less about photography. He is a mentor, an advisor, a dear friend now. And that friendship, that blessing, has led us to Jim Begley and Richard Small and his lovely wife, Yuriko, and Raymond and Devi Jabola and Snake Barrett and Chuck Barnes and Kip May and a host of other wonderful people that now are as much family as they are friends. Bill’s and Jim’s His Light Ministries workshops have changed our lives.
One of those blessings was right here on our own doorstep, and we never really realized it. Kendall Reeves and his wife Stephanie own and operate Spectrum Studios and gallery 406 here in Bloomington. We admired his photo skills (Kendall is a professional’s professional), but never knew how generous and open and enjoyable they were as friends and as fellow photographers. Kendall recently went with us out to Bodie, California on a His Light photo tour (Bodie is an old gold mining town, now abandoned and deserted), and it was a real pleasure to get to share with him and get to know him well. He is a fine travelling companion, an expert photographer, and an even better man. Another of those blessings that have flowed to us during the past four years.
Kendall is having an exhibit of images taken in Bodie as part of Downtown Bloomington’s Gallery Walk series. He has generously asked me to share the show with him. Now, putting my photos up beside Kendall’s for the world to see is a scary thing for me to comtemplate. But we are doing the show together, one entitled Bode: Prospecting in the High Sierras. The images are different; no lush landscapes, no beautiful architecture. But there was some surprising beauty to be found under the decay of weather and time. There was color left in unexpected places; traces of what previous tenants had tried to do to brighten a difficult (often brutal) life. There certainly were memories to be captured of hopes and dreams and past lives lived in a time now gone and nearly forgotten. That sort of is what the photo tour was about; the show is how we separately saw and captured some of those feelings.
Bodie: Prospecting in the High Sierras opens at gallery 406 on the north side of the square in downtown Bloomington on Friday, August 3rd, from 5-8PM. Kendall and Stephanie’s gallery and studio is well-known in our area, but all you old-timers will remember the space as being in the former Wick’s Building. It is a wonderful exhibit space that has hosted some very impressive shows in the past (click here for a link to the gallery and details about it). And you already know that impressive well-describes Kendall’s body of work. There will be light refreshments, and other nearby galleries also will be hosting opening receptions that evening. So why not come out and make a night of it?
And that brings me full circle. The show is my first; it is exciting for me; it is a bit scary. But the excitement and enjoyment of this whole photography thing rests more (a lot more) on the friendships we have made than any image we have produced. Life is so very, very good because of the people in it. And the blessings that God intended when He led the two of us to Savannah and that first workshop four years ago.