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Perspective Group and Photographer Gallery Puts the Focus on Fine Art Photography

By Pamela Sosnowski

Traditionally, most art galleries are dedicated to showcasing the work of painters and sculptors. Perspective Group and Photography Gallery of Evanston, however, is a gallery where photographers can display their work, whether it is traditional, digital, mixed media, and more.

"Perspective Gallery focuses exclusively on photography based art," says founder and board member Suzanne Metzel. "The inspiration behind Perspective Group and Gallery was to open a gallery space devoted solely to photography based art, to build a community of artists who share ideas and to promote fine art photography through exhibits, artist talks and a speaker series."

The gallery is located in downtown Evanston and operates as a non-profit, community-oriented cooperative. Board members review applications for full exhibiting membership on an annual basis, and chosen members have their work exhibited inside the gallery as well as at other galleries, colleges, libraries and in publications and national juried shows.

The current exhibit, running until the end of December, features new work by Christopher Schneberger and David Velasco. The name of Schneberger's collection is called Wandering with the subject matter being the flat landscapes of Midwest farms accompanied by the photographer's personal narrative. The Velasco exhibit is a collection of photographs by the photographer's younger brother, Brian. "As I see a lot of myself in Brian, these photos act as both a documentation of Brian's adolescence as well as a reflection and unification with my own," says Velasco.

To introduce photographers' work to the local community on a wider scale, the gallery also hosts a guest speaker lecture series for free, monthly artist talks, an annual, international, juried exhibition, and an annual juried show for Chicago-area high school students. "We also host other photographer artists in a number of ways," explains Metzel. "Each year we host LENS, a juried international competition. We also have an annual juried show for Chicago area high school students. In addition, throughout the year we invite Chicago artists to exhibit in space."

The seventh annual LENS event will take place in March 2017 and feature Stephen Daiter and Lucas Zenk of the Stephen Daiter Gallery as judges. The first place photographer will receive the Juror's Award of $300, and two runner-ups will also be chosen. Participating in LENS enables photographers another way of elevating their work in the public eye.

A few times a year the gallery also presents classes for photographers of various levels. The latest class, Digital Photography Basics, is taught by Christopher Schneberger and walks the student through the features on their digital camera to show them how to take better pictures and get their camera off of "automatic" mode.

Perspective Gallery is currently accepting applications for new members; interested photographers can visit http://perspectivegallery.org to learn more and submit their samples and qualifications.

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