The downtown area of Peterborough has literally been taken over by the Spark Photo Festival.
The works of a wide and talented array of image makers seem to cover every nook and cranny of available wall space around. It’s a good thing, as the works are highly varied both in subject matter and tone.
Each separate exhibition has an official opening, usually hosted by the artist, and presents a great opportunity to speak with these interesting individuals.
Locations are as diverse as the works presented. You’ll find exhibitions at Pappas Billiards, Chasing The Cheese, Thurston’s Diner, Evans Contemporary Gallery, Simple Soap, and many other venues.
The festival also features a range of workshops, both specialized and general in nature. If photography is your thing — or you think it might be — check out the Spark website for all the details.
Here are some personal highlights that are but a taste of a festival that’s featuring the works of more than 26 individuals and groups. Works are displayed only during the month of April, so make sure to see as much as you can.
“Year of the Raider” by Scott Michael Walling
Scott Michael Walling has carefully documented the near two-year process of closing PCVS, Peterborough’s downtown high-school.
His images are riveting, and perfectly capture many of the emotional and joyous times when community and students came together for this cause.
Where: Tango (366 George St. North)
Using traditional photography, acclaimed photographer Arnold Zageris offers sweeping panoramics and intimate images of the Far North.
Texture and place dominate these images, both in the main gallery and upstairs. There is one particular triptych that envelopes you and draws you in.
Large format traditional photography has never looked so good. Prepare to spend some serious time with these lush beauties.
Where: Christensen Fine Art (432 George St. North)
Student Exhibits: Thomas A. Stewart and Prince Of Wales Schools
Working with local photographer Wayne Eardley, the students of Prince of Wales School have accumulated an interesting collection of analog images.
These photos range from the experimental to the bizarre. Overlays and multiple exposures are used throughout to compelling effect.
Mickey Renders’ photography students at Thomas A. Stewart incorporate pin-hole and traditional 34mm into their work.
The exhibition of student work is spread across three locations including Gallery In The Attic, Nata’s Cafe, and some pasted pieces on the side of Peterborough Cold Storage.
Gallery in the Attic (140 1/2 Hunter St. West)
Nata’s Cafe (376 George St. N.)
Peterborough Cold Storage (375 Aylmer St. N.)
Images from The Roy Studio Collection
This exhibit features more than 60 images from the famous Roy Studio Collection. The selected images depict a Peterborough far removed from the one we know today — though it’s easy to connect to the places and people shown. The downtown, parks, and businesses all are featured widely. Moving from image to image is a very interesting stroll. This is a rare chance to view these images and it shouldn’t be missed.
Where: The Old “Y” Building (corner of George St. and Murray St.)
“14 Photographs” by Phillip Chee
Phil Chee has been walking and shooting the downtown core of Peterborough for a number of years. Through his walks, he has been documenting both the people and the changing face of our core. These 14 images are whimsical and thoughtful. The colours, light, and composition all demand to be explored by the viewer. The rewards are a new appreciation for what might be called the mundane — these images are anything but. Well worth a view.
Where: Spill Café (414 George St. North)
“Almost Black and White” by Margaret Hamilton
kawarthaNOW publisher Jeannine Taylor attended the opening of this collection on April 8th at Captain George’s Restaurant. Margaret’s calming black and white landscapes and objects are soothing for the soul. She’s drawn to nature, landscapes, architecture and “occasionally the quirky object”.
“I love it when someone sees and feels what I saw or felt when I captured the photo”, Margaret explains. “My inspiration or my ‘eye’ is constantly observing — be it people, places, animals, buildings, shapes or colours.”
Where: Captain George’s Restaurant (91 George St. North)
Here’s a map of the Spark Photo Festival venues discussed in this article.