by: Nancy Kalikow Maxwell
“Just Show’n Off” is the title of the first photo in the Prairie Village Arts Council’s “Art of Photography: Regional Artists Preview Exhibit” currently at the Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse. But the title referring to the windswept flowers in Jim Walker’s photo also aptly applies to the entire show where 20 Johnson County artists are “Show’n off” their photographic talents from now until the end of April.
Many of the works on display at the Meadowbrook Clubhouse are breath-takingly beautiful, while others are profound, whimsical or fun. Among the pieces making statements about social issues are Rusty Leffel’s “TO DO: Keep Hope,” featuring a close-up of a Black man wearing a mask proclaiming one capitalized word: HOPE.
“Lisa” by Sharon Rodriguez includes a dictated message from a 58-year-old homeless woman declaring, “‘I am lonely.’ That is why she drinks.”
On a lighter note, the show includes works such as Crystal Nederman’s “Gazebo in Infrared,” with a cat nestling into an old-fashioned gasoline pump. Wendy Delzeit’s “Night Carnival” captures a whizzing carnival ride that you makes you dizzy just to look at it.
In “Catching Some Rays,” Larry Wolfe illuminates a paper-strewn table overlooked by a dozing cat and flying fish. Lisa Wild Healey’s “Bad Habit” zeroes in on a pollen-coated bee, while BJ Collins’ “I See You” reveals the partially-hidden face of a child. Grant Nelson’s “Tatanka,” a close-up of a bull’s head, makes you marvel both at the animal’s strength and the artist’s courage.
Marla Craven’s “Back to the Past – Cuba,” depicting a street scene “has a lot going on,” according to Brad Hull, Controls Outside Sales Manager for Mercer Zimmerman, a commercial lighting company. Hull, a photographer himself who happened upon the exhibit while working on the Clubhouse lights, was especially taken by the vibrant colors in James Kilmer’s “Kansas Prairie?” Printed on metal, the technique makes the colors seem to jump out at you.
Other pieces in the show evoke serenity, such as the lush green landscape in Marilyn Lyons’ “Blue Ridge Mountains” and Robert Cort’s untitled scarlet mill surrounded by a blanket of white snow. A children’s playground is artistically interpreted in Julie Flanagan’s “Urban Cathedral, DC Metro Columbia Heights,” while Steve Johnston’s “Sunset Summer Solstice JC Nichols Fountain,” featuring the “Iconic Plaza Fountain,” will be appreciated by Kansas Citians.
As will the Prairie Village Arts Council’s next Art of Photography show coming to R.G. Endres Gallery in the Prairie Village City Hall. Opening with a reception at 6:00pm on Friday, May 13, that exhibit will remain in the gallery through May, providing plenty of time for those artists to be “Show’n Off” their stuff.
You can visit this show at Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse through June 24th! Be sure to check it out on your next walk on the Meadowbrook Park trails with a coffee or tea from The Market at Meadowbrook!