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Airport exhibits thought-provoking photography

Many people use their cameras to simply catch moments and memories, but there are those who push the medium to the next level –– and beyond, using the camera's lens to create arresting art.

"I do like the artwork ...," said Curtis Vinson, a passenger at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, while looking at a photograph. "The picture with words, it caught my eye, it's kind of new, you know."

Vinson was attracted the artistry of a photograph entitled, "News," photographer Carole Usdan. The black-and-white photo captured the face of a young woman looking down at the camera, in a sultry pose, with her lips half open, as text ran down her face.

The photography exhibit at Hartsfield-Jackson is entitled, "The Airport Show," and will run until Nov. 17, in the airport's Atrium Gallery, according to DeAllous Smith, media relations officer for Hartsfield-Jackson.

The exhibit is collaboration between the airport and Atlanta Photography Group, said Smith. According to group's web site –– www.apgphoto.org –– the organization is a non-profit, membership group in Atlanta that supports, and promotes, contemporary photography as a significant art form.

A collection of traditional, documentary-style and modern photographs are displayed in the exhibit, said Smith.

"It's um—really cool," said Spec. Michelle Gaul, of the U.S. Army, while viewing a photograph entitled, "Caged," photographer Debra Jansen. "I actually would like that piece."

"Caged" is an image of a woman leaning on her left side, while looking out at something, with a wooden, two-tiered bird cage on her head, as birds fly around it.

Katherine Marbury, aviation art program manager at Hartsfield-Jackson, said she is hopeful the exhibit will increase awareness of photography as an art form.

"Passengers and employees at Hartsfield-Jackson are encouraged to take a moment and enjoy this wonderful exhibit," said Marbury. "We hope this exhibit will help raise the public's awareness of photography as an art form, as well as of the Atlanta Photography Group."

Marbury said photographers are able to deliver artistic images, because they use multimedia tools and strategies to express, or exclude, emotion. Photographers are able to use lighting, point of view, area of focus, or aspect ratio, to connect their audience with their artwork, she said.

"In the end, though, the experience of the artwork happens individually in each viewer's mind," she added.

Photography is a medium used for expression, where artists are able to show their personal perspective to viewers through creativity, said Marbury.

According to the Atlanta Photography Group's web site, the exhibit began on Oct. 1.

Marbury said Atlanta Celebrates Photography occurs during the month of October, so the Airport Art Program believed that partnering with the arts organization to deliver the exhibit to the airport community was a good fit.

Tom Meiss, project manager of "The Airport Show" for Atlanta Photography Group, said most of the photographers are from Atlanta, though there are some from New York, Minnesota, North Carolina and Arizona.

"They [audience] will see a variety of approaches to photography," said Marbury. He added that there are 30 pieces on display.

"Some of the photographers are photographers and painters, so there are different looks to these photographs," said Meiss.

Marbury said the Atlanta Photography Group worked about six months to put the exhibit together. The photographs chosen were selected juror, Amy Miller, executive director of Atlanta Celebrates Photography.

"We know that travelers don't go to the airport with the intention of seeing a photography show, so we challenged our members to produce images with the ‘WOW' factor— in other words, photos that are guaranteed to catch the eye of even the busiest visitor passing through the airport," said Meiss.

"At the same time, it was important that the photos be artistic, not just eye candy ... The results are fantastic, a must-see show for the fall season."