This is My Selfie: Words + Photos takes an honest look at our "selfs" and gives us space to ponder what the trend in self-portraiture says about our culture.
Ekphrasis Exhibit: Words About Art
Congratulations to our talented local writers and artists selected for the Ekphrasis Exhibit. (Ekphrasis: The skill of describing a thing with vivid detail.)
See the artwork. Read the poems they inspired (below).
Inspired by Friday Night Lights
spirits of solitude
by Don Kingfisher Campbell
driving in a dark rectangle
with concave glasses off
watching tonight’s street
lights like snowflakes
and the reflected cosmic eye
just another cataract
until I get home
switch on felt lamps
I can play now
with my own little cosmos
in the finite living room
full of fuzzy books
and black monoliths
what time is it
doesn’t matter in my universe
when god’s tired
he simply lies down
on a field of cotton
prays he wakes up
the next day the clock stirs
his pupils will seek sense again
by Cindy Bousquet Harris
Time lapse earths
caterpillar the sky,
small storms drip their havoc,
blue diamond eye
over curve and kneel,
water, wind flow;
blurred by river dreams
sings to the red,
sings a hidden filigree;
secret eyebrow, flying swan,
wears a strand
of dna pearls;
moon phase, discus throw,
remember my song,
sing it louder,
bounce the crimson
back in line;
sing it gently,
just enough to hum the cells,
its own hallelujah.
The Canvas in Me
by Cherie Kephart
My mind pages are blank
I wrestle to formulate
a picturesque thought.
Where is my muse?
An empty field
afraid of it all.
Distant voices of children
cry out in play – that
feeling was so long ago.
Was I ever that young?
of memories float past.
Life is our tapestry
mine heavy, painted
over with thick layers.
What’s beneath it all?
I’m not fooling anyone.
I’m not starting anew
but it’s a clumsy cover
up for what I’m trying to hide.
Why not be proud of it all?
Like the canvas. Show all my
vibrant colors and declare
this is me.
Inspired by First Love
by Mary Langer Thompson
It begins with surrender to whimsy
a plethora of patchwork promises
piled on top of each other
until it all falls apart
because the cloth is thin,
the stitches loose
and the floating hearts
with pumping vessels
become heavy with doom
that lies in black flower petals,
but this least of all.
Yet you can hang your stitched memories
over the back of your rocker,
lean back and dream.
Inspired by Scarlet Lady
by liz gonzález
The summer of ’69, my grandparents took me
on a train trip from Mexicali to Mexico City.
We stopped in the desert at a small station
with walls the color of sun-bleached bones.
Grandma and Grandpa wanted to eat
in the air conditioned restaurant car.
I wanted to explore a landscape
I’d seen only in Westerns on TV
and fill my belly with treats at the snack bar.
Surrounded by tan hills, dry bush,
and cactus that looked like giant alien hands,
I waded through the hot air toward the building.
The dirt stung my bare, sandaled feet.
Two girls my age stood at the entrance,
begging passengers for money.
A few tossed them a coin.
Most, American and Mexican,
The girls held out their dirt-smudged hands
and sang to me, "Por favor, un centavo."
Their shredded dresses
dangled on their skinny frames.
Their bare feet stood still
on the burning ground.
I spilled all of my change
into the bowls of their palms.
Back on the train, I looked out my window,
expecting to see them getting served
a hamburger and a glass of milk: a hearty meal.
But the counter person handed them
chocolate bars and two dribbling chocolate shakes.
Huge grins stretched across their faces
as they sucked on their straws.
I switched from feeling proud of myself
for sacrificing my lunch money
to being mad at them for buying junk.
Grandma asked, “Why the sour face?”
I explained what happened.
“And what were you going to buy?”
It took the rest of the train ride,
but I realized the girls were just kids,
Featured Artist: Tom windeknecht
We are big fans of the whimsical, colorful work of Redlands-based photographer Tom Windeknecht. He recently shared some of his favorite images and answered our questions.
Q: When did you discover your love for photography?
A: When I was a kid. My parents used to have a Kodak Pocket Instamatic 20—the one with the cool flash cubes. I liked taking pictures and playing with it. When I was in high school, I took a photography class and bought a Pentax K1000 SLR camera. I learned to use the camera, shoot creatively, and develop film in a darkroom. It was also my first experience seeing photography in a museum. For extra credit, I went to see the Annie Leibovitz exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum. From there on, I loved photography.
Q: Did you study art in school?
A: Art was my favorite subject growing up. I took it all four years in high school, and then I took some art classes in college. I had some great teachers that encouraged me. I also took two years of Art History, which really helped me to learn about various styles and artists, and to really appreciate art.
Q: What inspires you?
A: I have many inspirations to take a photo: colors, shapes, lines, etc. I love colors, so that is usually a big attention grabber for me. Nature has many qualities that inspire me. I also have to say that other people’s photography inspires me. I really like to see how other people view the world. For the past couple of years, I have been exploring and experimenting with minimalism.
Q: Do you have any photographers or artists you admire?
A: I admire and enjoy artists such as Maxfield Parrish, Hieronymus Bosch, Vincent Van Gogh, and Dan Namingha. As for photographers, I admire Erik Johansson, Dorothea Lange, Edward Weston, and Andreas Gursky. Even though they are all quite different, their styles and subjects fascinate me.
Q: Where are some good places in the Inland Empire to shoot photos?
A: There are some great places to shoot in the IE: we have city, desert and the mountains. Places like Mormon Rocks, San Bernardino National Forest, Mt. Rubidoux, etc. If you consider Joshua Tree and Palms Springs in the Inland Empire, then definitely these places as well. Maybe it’s because I live there, but I also like Redlands. There are some really cool old buildings and brick walls that make great backdrops.
Q: How do you fit your artwork into your life?
A: Sometimes it’s tough with work and responsibilities, but I try to get it in when I can. While commuting to work, I even found beauty in California’s freeway over passes and ramps. I try to bring my camera with me when I go out to neat places, but when I don’t, then I just rely on my cell phone camera. This year, I made it a goal to try and focus more on my photography.
Q: Please tell us how and where we can follow your work.
A: The best place to follow me is on Instagram at @tomwindeknecht. This is where I post the most. I am big on social media, so I try to keep current at different outlets. I can also be seen and followed on my website at tomwindeknecht.com.
Find Tom on instagram: https://instagram.com/tomwindeknecht
Signs of San Bernardino Photography Exhibit
The Signs of San Bernardino Photography Exhibition was judged by Rick Sforza, a former military photojournalist, who is photo editor and photographer for the San Bernardino Sun and Inland Valley Daily Bulletin newspapers.
Special thanks to Rebecca Trawick, board member of the Wild Lemon Project. You made this amazing show possible.