Monday, February 21, 2011

First Friday.

A couple years ago I was at my now brother-in-laws wife's parent's house, which is within walking distance of the Chesapeake Bay. It was a lovely afternoon; light on clouds, bright sun and there was a large gathering with a pig roast, horseshoes and cold beverages. Across from their house was a neighbor whose yard lead to a small set of stairs that lead you down to the beach several meters down, but more importantly one of the best views for a sunset on the East Coast. I took a couple pictures early in the afternoon, then made sure to come back to catch the sun drop with my camera. My sister-in-law-laws mom (Jo) who hosted this party liked the pictures I took and told me about an Art event that takes place in nearby Oxford, PA called First Friday. After we conversed about the shooting I'd done over the years prior and her own love and production of artwork she suggested I find a day to come to the shop she manages in PA to be her featured artists during the First Friday Art Stroll.

Chesapeake Bay
Over the next couple years I saw Jo at the odd wife's-side family events; weddings, birthdays, pig roasts (mmhm). The same question would come up as I showed her new work of mine after travelling and what not, and I kept having to put it off for the trip/carshow this weekend, or the wrenching on my car that weekend. On top of that, I still hadn't found a trustworthy place to make prints of my images, representing my shots as well as my raws looked on my computer. Fast forward to this past December (2010) and Jo let me know there was an opening in her featured artist spot for February. I freed up some time away from other projects to track down a reliable printing house and assemble some prints to showcase at Jo's store. After some research I found a printer that lined up with my needs. I ordered several prints through this printer, in a variety of large sizes, primarily to see how my fullsize 350dpi jpegs would translate once printed on quality paper. I didn't get anything framed to keep costs down, just went with sturdy yet clean mat-board bases so the shots were solid enough to hang. Thankfully, I was quite pleased with what showed up in the mail.

February 4th (2011) arrived and it was time to get to work. I drove North and arrived at Jo's store, the Outback Trading Company at 29 South Third Street Oxford, PA 19363. I met Jo's and her colleagues, the Hatfield ladies, and we quickly worked together to get the store ready for the event. We ended up using a couple stand-up display boards they normally used for clothing, removed all the hooks, then used Velcro stickers to arrange all my displayed work.

Throughout the evening large amounts of people came by the store and checked out all the current clothing deals going on. Some of Outbacks' patrons also checked out my work and asked me everything you can think of about the images that stood out to them. It was interesting to hear the different takes as well as input on some of my subjects, especially since these are all people that just found out about what I do that day. I had some great conversations, plenty of close friends and family stopped by to check things out and I got leads on some places to shoot future work. Icing on the cake was that I sold a piece from the Vegas 2010 album; as you can see I'm gearing up accordingly. I was happy I finally made it out to support this event, even if it was just in a small way. Hopefully I can make time to bring some new work out later this year.

I'd like to thank Jo (right) and Trina (left) for the help they provided for this first public event of mine. If you're into quality suede and leather boots, hats, clothing as well as casual and active outdoor apparel, you definitely need to check out the Outback Trading Company. Outback Trading Co. gear is sold across the US and worn by adventurists, cowboys and cowgirls alike, but the Oxford, PA location is the place to get these goods, discounted directly from the source. Visit them online or give them a call, and tell them that Allen sent ya.

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