Friday, February 29, 2008

artist in residence - Forest Hills Fine Art Center

Lots of cool things coming out lately...but I want to drop a quick post about an exhibition of my fine art photography at the unbelievable Forest Hills Fine Arts Center in Grand Rapids.

The artist reception (for me!) is this coming Thursday, March 6 from 6:00 - 7:30 pm. All are invited and it will be good to bump into some of you I haven't seen in a while.

I put together a nice little retrospective of my work over the last 5 years or so...and we hung it yesterday. The exhibition venue couldn't be nicer and the good folks at FHFAC are so cool to work with.

Hope to see you there! Here's a shot of the exhibition space from their web site:

On-the-Town article - Karma Generator

Hey...things seem to be really taking off for the March 22 Brian Vander Ark concert at Aquinas College Performing Arts Theatre. We're screening our film Karma Generator before the concert and we're also filming the entire show for Brian for a future DVD release...he's pulled out all the stops for this one!

The latest buzz is in the March issue of On-the-Town Magazine...OTT gives the film a very, very nice write-up. There's also a great review of Vander Ark's new self-titled album on the same page.

If you haven't ordered tickets yet for this concert and film screening on March 22...ummm....what the heck are you waiting for? Ticket sales have been strong so far. Here's the link to order and see you at the show!

Here's a shot from North Carolina and the making of the Karma Generator (thanks for the photo Lisi Szymczyk!). This shows me interviewing Bill Szymczyk and my brother Brad giving directions to the ice cream buffet (our rider specifies that a full spread of ice cream be chilling at all times):

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

new photos and Knape's Corner plug

If you haven't been to my photography web site in a while I've recently updated the site with a few new images you might want to check out...enjoy.

And many thanks to top business writer Chris Knape of The Grand Rapids Press for giving me a huge plug on his Knape's Corner blog. It was a nice suprise. Chris talks about finding out about my film Karma Generator and Brian Vander Ark's March 22 concert right here in my little corner of the blogging world. We'll see you at the show, Chris!

Monday, February 25, 2008

It's the Mouse's world, you're just living in it!

I've recently emerged from my own kind of "No Country for Old Men"...the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. We took the kids there for a day. The experience left my head spinning.

My impressions of the Magic Kingdom varied from one of awe at the Disney metropolis (the trams, buses, trains, boats and road systems are something to behold) to further amazement at how EVERYTHING is designed to efficiently make it easy for you to spend money...and lots of it.

But I was truly taken aback when I felt the real power of the Mouse....I had to have my index finger scanned before being allowed entry.

I didn't recall having my finger scanned prior to boarding my flight at the Grand Rapids airport (I barely had to show my driver's license to the retiree security guard at the gate). Why has the Department of Homeland Security allowed Disney to finger print people? Why not at airports too? Where was the last place you were finger printed to gain access anywhere...jail?

But back at the index finger documentation line at Disney World, the scan occurred so fast and subtitely that it didn't occur to me to scream "Right to Privacy!" until I was back in Grand Rapids days later pouring over a pile of credit card receipts.

If it had occurred to me to make a fuss about it at the time I probably wouldn't have...I generally avoid situations where I might appear to be the "crazy dad" hollering about governmental conspiracies, my constitutional rights and the exorbitant price of the cheese pizzas at Pinocchio Village.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not necessarily being negative about Disney. We obviously live in a pretty great country where places like this are not only possible and profitable, but extremely safe as well. Disney World is for kids and we'll have memories that will last a lifetime.

But by the end of your day at Magic Kingdom, just be prepared to feel a lot like Tommy Lee Jones' dazed sheriff character at the end of "No Country for Old Men"...conclusions may be very hard to reach. And I have more questions than answers.

Monday, February 11, 2008

"Across The Grand" - photography commission

In September of last year, I got a call from Joe Tomaselli who is the top executive at Amway Hotel Corporation (Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, the new JW Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott downtown, etc).

Joe asked me if I would consider creating a special photograph to commemorate the opening of the new JW Marriott hotel. The commissioned photograph would be given to 1000 guests at a special gala fundraising event at the JW. The gala benefitted the Grand Rapids Public Museum (across the river from the JW Marriott in the Van Andel Museum Center).

Needless to say I was flattered and accepted. Joe had two requests:

  1. The photograph should depict both the museum and the hotel (no easy task since there is a substantial body of water separating the two properties)
  2. Each building should be given equal weight compositionally and not allow one building to dominate the other in the photograph

I also worked closely with Rebecca Westphal who is the head of marketing and PR at the museum (who is GREAT to work with btw). She helped coordinate everything I needed at the museum (lights, carousel operator, etc).

I shot the buildings from a variety of angles (even aerials!). But in the end we kept coming back to this image as the final choice. The photograph is called "Across the Grand." Let me know what you think:

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Horses on the Carousel

Yesterday I was shooting for the Grand Rapids Public Museum at The Van Andel Museum Center...I'm still spinning from shooting while riding on the historic carousel! Above is an early favorite from the shoot.

Last fall I was commissioned to create a special photograph for a very high profile project for the museum's capital I am very happy to continue working with the good folks there. When time permits I'll post an entry showing the results of that was a great honor to be asked to commemorate such a special event.