Photography used to be a messy business, the dark room of which, few ever dirtied their hands in. Today, just as few seem to remember that era and how strikingly different its rules were; just ask the Eastman Kodak Company. Like in almost every profession, “experts” – those willing to get their the whole of their hand dirty – have been replaced by gratuitous “Google searches,” the prerequisite of which, as they say is “a phone and a finger.” So, it’s no surprise that the line between professional photographers and amateurs photographers is blurry to most of us. Besides earning money from photography, what makes a professional photographer professional? And can you see it in the photos? Marina Lenik, an aspiring photographer who is finishing her professional studies at Université Lumière Lyon 2 will present her work and discuss it with expert photographer Bob Vergara, who, over the course of his forty-year career, has had his work featured in the world’s most prominent newspapers, journals and motion pictures.
Natalia Mount, curator of Oakland’s Pro Arts Gallery & Commons, comes from a much different perspective: criminal justice. It was an internship at New York City’s MoMA PS1 – an art institution that is entirely dedicated to contemporary art – that she decided to change course and use her career to promote the arts in society. Natalia has worked ever since as an entrepreneur, founding galleries and commissioning new art. For the past five years, she has been curator of Pro Arts Gallery & Commons. During her mandate, rather than building up new walls, she has been tearing down old ones: engaging the community at large and promoting art as an integral part of society might very well describe her vision.
So, you are asking, what kind of explosion happens when Marina and Bob – classic, cool-headed photographers – meet with Natalia’s passionate advocacy for artistic argument? It doesn’t take an expert to tell that it’s sure to be colorful! Come welcome Marina, Bob and Natalia and find out for yourself!