DENVER — Edwards resident Raymond A. Bleesz was selected to participate in the Colorado Photographic Arts Center 2014 All Members Show. Sixty two photographs by 51 photographers were selected by juror Mark Sink out of a submitted field of 450 images from the 90 members of the CPAC. The photographs had to be taken within the past 12 months to fulfill the juror’s requirements. Bleesz’s image is a portrait entitled “Hal Gould, Master Photographer, Curator.” Gould, a 94-year-old master photographer, was the co-founder of the 1963 Colorado Photographic Arts Center and has been a dynamic force in the Rocky Mountain region as a promoter of fine art photography. At the CPAC, Gould promoted photographic artists and exhibits 12 years prior to the nations first major photography showing in a fine art gallery, that being Richard Avedon’s “Chicago Seven” at the New York City’s Marlborough Gallery in 1975.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO PHOTOGRAPHY
Unable at that time to get fine art photography accepted in the Denver Art Museum, Gould opened his Camera Obscura Gallery adjacent to the Denver Art Museum building on Bannock Street in 1980, hosting a showing of Elliot Porter images. Gould has made epic contributions to photography during his long leadership and mentorship in Denver and the Rocky Mountain region. He also was one of the founders of AIPAD, the Association of International Photography Art Dealers, now the leading international organization of top photography galleries for the perpetuation of quality, integrity and photography advocacy. The Camera Obscura Gallery closed its doors in April 2011 after 31 years of exhibitions so Gould could tend to his memoirs and his own lifetime of negatives and prints.
Gould has been Bleesz’s mentor since 1976. The portrait taken by Bleesz of Gould in April 2013 was taken at his home in Denver as Gould likewise was attempting to take a portrait of him. In the late ’70s Bleesz had his portfolio reviewed by Gould, and the two have remained close friends since. Gould has contributed 52 years of his life in promoting and exhibiting fine art photography in Colorado. An award in his honor has been named after him, the Hal Gould Vision in Photography Award. Juror Mark Sink is the first recipient of that award.
The Colorado Photographic Arts Center gallery is located at 1513 Boulder Street in Denver. Open since 1963, it is the oldest fine art photographic gallery west of the Mississippi River. Bleesz has been a member of the CPAC since 1976. The All Members Show is on exhibit now through June 28 with a closing reception from 3 to 5 p.m. on June 28. Call 303-837-1341 or visit www.cpac photo.org to learn more. Bleesz can be reached at 970-926-9182, and a sampling of his images can be seen at Brush Creek Dry Goods in The Riverwalk at Edwards.