An exhibit of work by photographer Richard Birger will be on view in the gallery space in the social hall at First Universalist Church February 19 through April 2. The exhibit can be viewed on Sundays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. To view the exhibit at other times, contact Bette DeMars at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An artist’s reception will be held after services on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017.
A note from the artist about the exhibit:
As I was assembling this exhibit, it occurred to me that if there is a theme emerging it seems to be about engagement or conflict. Many of the images are from recent political demonstrations here in Minnesota, while other images are from my career in natural resource management. Part seems to be about the complexities of people versus people, the other part is about the intricacies of people and nature.
Legendary philosopher Yogi Berra said, “Its déjà vu all over again.” I remember in 1972 being at the University of Minnesota when students shut down the campus over the Vietnam War. Now, I’m witnessing mass demonstrations again.
Tear gas and pepper spray still smell the same.
During my working career I was part of National Incident Management Teams responsible for suppression of major western wildfires. I spent most summers in remote parts of the country and encountered many instances when humans were in conflict with nature.
Norman McLean, author of A River Runs Through It, aptly summed it up when he said; “On forest fires there are moments almost solely for beauty. Such moments are of short duration.”
About the artist (in his own words):
Many years ago, using 35mm film I learned the meaning of delayed gratification as the images slowly appeared in the fixative bath.
Today I try not to let the new technology get in the way of seeing and capturing an interesting image. I’d rather spend time behind the camera than in front of the computer. Using the tools of digital photography I’m always refining my views of the natural and man-made world.
Some of my images are straight up representational photographic records of what I saw. Some are renditions of what I saw that translated into how the subject created an emotion.
A few of the images are a combination of the three concepts; a sliding scale if you will. What I saw, what I thought I saw – perhaps, what I wanted to see.