By JESSE BERTEL
Across the Street
From Edward Curtis to Ansel Adams, dedicated photographers of the past documented and paid tribute to the West through their amazing photos. Phippen Museum presents the images of their modern-day counterparts in “Click: Western Focus,” a special invitational exhibition and sale featuring photography from 18 of America’s most outstanding fine art photographers of the West. The exhibit runs from Saturday, Oct. 8 to March 5, 2023, at the Phippen Museum, 4701 Highway 89 N., Prescott. A special opening reception and members’ preview for this exhibition is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7.
Practical photography was commercially introduced in 1839, but it was a cumbersome process requiring lots of equipment and time. The tools and chemicals necessary to create photographic images were bulky and caustic and had to be hauled through some of the nation’s most unforgiving environments to create the first portraits and landscapes of the American West.
Each participating artist in this exhibit was offered exclusive invitations based on their impressive portfolios and asked to display six pieces of fine art photography. For Clicks’ participating artists, documenting the West and capturing images of its diverse people, places and wildlife still holds the same magic and fascination it did for their predecessors some 150 years ago.
Dave Drost, one of the participating photographers, explained that he looks for nature’s beauty in the world around him as inspiration for his work.
“I look around, I travel and when I see something that touches me, I sometimes will stay or come back at another date,” Drost said. “When I get a vision of what I want to photograph or see something, I come back to it at a time of day or night that will give me a photograph that I’m thinking about for that particular scene.”
Drost bought his first professional camera to take pictures of his wife’s horse.
“I was getting ready to retire about 14 years ago and my wife had owned a horse,” Drost said. “We did not have a camera, so I bought a camera and took a picture of her horse, and with that, I said, ‘this is pretty fun.’ I didn’t know what I was going to do in my retirement and here it is about 15 years later and I’m still doing it. Out and about weekly or every other week, I’m coming up with a plan to do something.”
According to Drost, the hardest part about being a photographer is trying to find something that somebody else hasn’t already done.
“Right now, it seems like everybody is a photographer, even with their cell phones,” Drost said. “You have to be real creative and go to places typically that people don’t go, whether it be because it’s a dangerous area or there are obstacles – permission to be on the property. So it gets more and more difficult to produce something that somebody can appreciate, and two, that they haven’t seen before a million times.”
Museum members will be admitted free of charge and guests for $20 each to the opening reception. Appetizers will be provided by Goods From the Garden and a cash bar will be available.
For additional information on this exhibition or other events at the Museum, call (928) 778-1385, or visit their website, at www.phippenartmuseum.org.
Jesse Bertel is a reporter/videographer for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @ JesseBertel, email him at email@example.com, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.