By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
WHEN Detroit natives, Duke Wells and his wife Lisa Wells, came to the Bahamas and settled in at Popop studios Centre for the Visual Arts residency program nine months ago, they didn't just want to take a few photos of the beautiful landscapes and scenery.
They wanted to initiate a plan that would change the way photography is classified in the Bahamas. On that note they came together with a group of Bahamian photographers to put on a photo exhibit at the gallery. The exhibit intends to raise the awareness of photography in the Bahamas.
The photographers all share a common goal and hope to raise the standard of the craft. The showcase makes a bold statement, and is validation that photography should be taken seriously as a fine art in the Bahamas.
This is the first time a group of Bahamian photographers have come together in an collaboration like this.
Mr Wells is very passionate about taking the craft to another level. He told Tribune Arts that the exhibit displays photography in a light not usually seen.
"My wife and I have been at Popopstudios for about 8-9 months and we wanted to come together with other artists to bring awareness. We want to show people that there is more to photography than taking friendly photos like the ones you put up on facebook, or using them as decor," he said.
The photographs on display are not the usual fare. They are artistic and show the photographer's mastery of the craft.
The show features powerful emotionally stimulating images from Roland Rose's vibrant black and white images, and Richard Hokmier's captivating "Angel" to Ben Jamieson haunting image of a carnival lot at dusk.
"The exhibition demonstrates that the power of photography is ever increasing in the Bahamas."
Mr Wells said evidence is all around of the way photography is regarded. And he said , that perspective is what he wants to see changed more than ever.
"I understand that government spent $2 million dollars on the project at the airport and photography wasn't a part of that. Even the murals on Bay Street, photography wasn't a part of that. And that just goes to show where photography is at in the Bahamas."
"We thought Popop Studios should raise the consciousness toward fine arts photography. We want to get it out of the box and we want to take it up a notch so that it can take it's rightful place next to visual arts," he said.
The work of photographers including Lyndah Wells, Roland Rose, Richard Hokmier, Ben Jamieson, Sabrina Lightbourn, Patricia Vazquez, Dede Brown, Lisa Wells, and Duke Wells will be on display.
The opening reception will take place tomorrow evening at Popopstudios Center for the Visual Arts located 26 Dunmore Avenue, Chippingham. The exhibit will be up until August 6.
For more information contact 322-7834.