Lens craft

Hayley Panek
Hayley Panek's work has a mythical quality. Photos by Danielle Zerbonne

By Anna Marie D'Addarie - April 5, 2007

Each year the Center for Creative Expression recruits talented students for a special photography class called the Wednesday Group. Beginning in September, the group meets with center director Janice Baer and her husband Chris and head out to forgotten parts and unbeaten paths of Martha's Vineyard. The result of this year's adventures are on the walls of the Featherstone Center for the Arts gallery in a show titled "Light and Decomposition."

Four students - Amelia Adler, Ray Ewing, Hayley Panek, and Katey Medeiros - were selected last year for this year's program. According to Ms. Baer, the students do not need to be accomplished photographers to join the group, but should have an interest in art and the desire to learn something new.

The photographs are all digital, which works very well for the color prints, and slightly less so for the black-and-white prints, which seem to have restricted contrast. Ms. Baer is torn between the dark room and digital, saying, "digital is different, not better or worse."

Ray Ewing
Photographer Ray Ewing explains his fascination with light.

Student Ray Ewing agrees, saying he takes darkroom lessons at Featherstone so he can learn both methods. "I've always been fascinated with light and ways to capture it," said Mr. Ewing. His photograph, "Death System," won a gold key award in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition in Boston, and a silver key award in the national competition in New York City, where the photograph is on display.

Amelia Adler is also a key winner. A pencil drawing she entered into the competition won a silver medal. Photography is an interest of hers, and this is her first year in the Wednesday Group.

Amelia Adler's photograph of the West Tisbury Cemetery won second prize in a 2007 Cape Cod Times contest. Katey Medeiros's photography portfolio placed in the top 10 percent of the 2007 National Foundation for Achievement in the Arts contest.

Seeing the Island through the eyes of these young photographers is an enlightening experience.

"Light and Decomposition" continues April 5 and 6, 12 noon to 4 pm and April 7 and 8, 11 am to 1 pm, at Featherstone Center for the Arts, Barnes Road, Oak Bluffs. Admission is free. For more information, call Featherstone at 508-693-1850 or the Center for Creative Expression at 508-696-4545.