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Creative Mixer & Artist Opening Reception: Padgett McFeely
October 13 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pmFree
Salida Council for the Arts hosts another Creative Mixer this month, and any artists or creatives working in all genres are encouraged to attend and meet like-minded people, to share influences and news, to soak up fresh ideas, and to be inspired by the energy that makes Salida a center of support and expression.
This month’s exhibition, Then and Now, by artist Padgett McFeely will be on view in the Paquette Gallery throughout the month of October.
Special musical guest, Jeff Koch, will be playing an eclectic mix of original grooves from his 20+ year musical career along with covers from Steely Dan, The Doors, Ray Charles, and Steve Winwood.
Padgett McFeely ~ Then and Now
“Then” represents a collection of my “wet darkroom” hand painted black and white photographs; a medium I worked with for over 25 years.
“Now” represents my digital imagery that consists of combining my original photographs and manipulating them in photoshop to impart a message. I often find that ravens and crows are the perfect subject matter for bringing forth the ideas and feelings I am working on conveying.
Corvids have long been the subject of folklore and spiritualism, as well as the subject of creation stories and traditional beliefs, each specific to independent Indigenous North American nations.
Being associated with wisdom, thought, foresight, transformation and more, these big beautiful birds are also highly intelligent.
I am fascinated with them and their abilities to transcend day to day reality and speak to us on many levels.
Interspersed into the “Now” will be a few of my un-manipulated photographs taken around Salida.
I am inspired by the work of Maggie Taylor and Jane Long to name a few.
Back in the day, after earning a BA in Psychology at UC Irvine, I began studying photography and was immediately enthralled by the ‘wet’ darkroom process.
Photography quickly became my way of discovering, exploring, and relating to the world. Using my camera to capture illusions of reality on film by utilizing the raw purity of black and white photography was intrinsic to the work. Wanting to find a way to enrich my images, I began to focus my efforts on hand coloring my silver gelatin prints. I found that this century-old technique supplied my work with a surreal edge that I had been seeking.
Employment as a professional photo retoucher in San Francisco, working as an intern at The Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego and participating in various workshops, contributed to my photographic art. The opportunity to teach photography at a private high school in Albuquerque was a rewarding way to share my passion.
With the advent of digital imagery, the world of photography changed radically. I resisted the change. Finally embracing digital photography, I found that working with the digital medium feeds my soul as did working with film. I always have my iPhone in my back pocket and can also be found toting around my Nikon D90.
Though I miss the hands-on techniques of the darkroom and working with the paint, I now relish in the fact that I no longer have to get into the darkroom with all those chemicals to process film and print the images although I still love the smell of the darkroom and still have film in my freezer!
Working with Photoshop, the possibilities are limitless, the rewards are many, and learning how to work with all the tools is an endless exploration filled with excitement coupled with a great deal of frustration. Ha!