Running now through the end of February, the first-ever photography show is taking over the walls of the Lodi Community Art Center. Photographer Barbara Gillespie shares a little about chairing the contest and celebrating photography in Lodi.
You are chair of the photo contest? How did you get that position?
Rich Allen, the Lodi Community Art Center president, asked me if I would like to chair, and I said yes, not knowing what I was getting into. I agreed, and luckily we had great people in the art center who helped me out. It was my first time ever doing anything like this.
How did you choose categories?
Being that this was our first show, there were a few things that I was adamant that I wanted. I wanted it simple and broad. I looked at a lot of shows coming up, like a big gallery where the show theme was street photography, and that’s so narrow.
There are three categories: Landscape photograph, macro, and portrait and animal.
Were local photographers responsive?
We were pleasantly surprised. I have found that photographers are procrastinators … In the end, we had 225 entries, which is really a nice number for a show. The main thing that I did request was three judges. I don’t like entering shows that only have one judge.
So we did have three photographers (do the judging) who are from various walks of life: Joanna Geronimo, a teacher; Arturo Vero, who has been a fine art and wedding photographer for years and years; and Dan Evans (News-Sentinel chief photographer) was our other judge. It was nice because we had totally different aspects on this process. They were able to go through the 225 pieces and got it down to 149 pieces for the show.
Pam Beschill and myself hung the show at the Art Center. It looks amazing.
This is the first photo contest the art center has had. Why did they want to start?
Well, you know, Rich Allen was the one who had come to me. We’re always looking for new and fresh things to do in the art center.
I think that’s a wonderful idea. We as photographers are slowly chaining old (perceptions) … a lot of artists don’t think as photography of art. It is art.
How long have you been a photographer?
I have been a photographer for 35 to 40 years. I started when I was a teenager. My daughter has inherited same passion. She owns Mary Gillespie Photography. She does people; I do landscapes.
Well, now that you’ve traded in the foothills for Lodi, is there any place in Lodi you’re excited to shoot?
Yes, I’m really close to Lodi Lake. I’m looking forward to getting over there in the trails. I’ve done the Sandhill cranes and the Lodi Arch at night, and I’m always looking for new things.