Avon Youth Photo Club, photography memorabilia display at Avon library | VailDaily.com

Avon Youth Photo Club, photography memorabilia display at Avon library

Krista Driscoll
Raymond A. Bleesz with his photo collection and memorabilia. Kodak film such as Ektachrome and Tungston film are displayed in their original containers, along with examples of 4x5 film and film holders. Postcards of the Hotel Jerome and Berthoud Pass Ski Area, images taken in the late 1940s, are also on display.
Courtesy of Raymond A. Bleesz | Special to the Daily |

If you go …

What: Avon Youth Photo Club photographs and historical memorabilia exhibit.

When: Display will be up through the month of April; library hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Avon Public Library, 200 Benchmark Road, Avon.

Cost: Free.

More information: Call 970-949-6797, or visit http://www.evld.org.

AVON — The Avon Youth Photo Club concluded its second year of after-school photo programs last week, and some of the fruits of their labors are on display at the Avon Public Library through the end of the month.

The photo club began in October, with monthly meetings for third- through fifth-graders.

“We talk about a photo design and an art design concept — leading lines, rule of thirds, perspective, backgrounds, all those kinds of things — we talk about one concept, then we look at examples of it, then we go out and take photos outside,” said Norma Broten, children’s services specialist, who created the program.

Eight examples of student photographs are on display, along with books about photography and local photographer Raymond A. Bleesz’s collection of photos and photo memorabilia, including working antique cameras, antique prints, tintype prints, carte de vise portraits from the turn of the century and studio prints from the 1920s to 1940s.

a history lesson

“It’s so interesting because Raymond brought two cameras that were from the 1800s, and one of them was called a bicycle camera because it was before they had cars,” Broten said. “People would strap this camera onto their bicycle handlebars and it has a little squeezy ball to take a picture, kind of like the first GoPro.

“Some of the kids had never seen negatives, so Raymond brought negatives and the prints, so they could say, OK, this print came from this negative.”

Broten knew of Bleesz’s collection, as she is a member and he a co-founder of the Vail Valley Arts Guild Photographers Group. As a former educator and teacher himself, Bleesz didn’t hesitate to help Broten introduce the Avon Youth Photo Club to the world of photography.

“He brought some dark room chemicals, he brought a wealth of memorabilia — old photographs of his family, his father and the way they used to pose for pictures in the early 1900s,” Broten said.

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