Local photographer accepted into historic Colorado exhibition
Raymond Bleesz’s photographs will be on display at The Diamond Jubilee in Central City June 11-August 20
A local photographer will be hand delivering submissions to the oldest juried art exhibition in Colorado this June.
Raymond Bleesz, co-founder of the Vail Valley Art Guild Photographers group and member of the Colorado Fine Arts Center (CPAC) since 1976, has been notified by the Gilpin County Arts Association of his acceptance to the Diamond Jubilee, a 75-year-old annual national exhibition and the oldest in the State of Colorado.
The Diamond Jubilee is a juried show for 3D artists, painters and photographers. Each category has specific credentialed jurors who are specialists in each field. The works will be on display at the Washington Hall Gallery in Central City from June 11 through Aug. 20.
This year, the photographic juror was Professor Carol Golemboski of the University of Colorado Denver photo department. Golemboski received an MFA in Photography from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1999 and an MA in Art from The University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996. She has been the recipient of numerous grants including individual artist fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Saltonstall Foundation and Light Work. Her “Psychometry” series won the 2007 Project Competition Award from Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Golemboski’s images have been published internationally in textbooks and notable photographic journals in the United States, China, France, Spain, Austria and Sweden.
Three of Bleesz’s four submitted images were accepted for the exhibition, a noteworthy feat. Here are those three photographs, their respective titles and the significance of the image, as provided by Bleesz himself.
“Portrait—Edgar Allen Poe”
“The silhouette portrait of Alexa (an individual who was a community member at one time, the photo was taken in Eagle) was striking, however, her tattooed Edgar Allen Poe statement was my focus, and such a unique hair style, as well as her belief in Poe as a poet. Alexa was leaving the state that afternoon. I made arrangements with her for a late afternoon shoot in the shade. I pinned up a black cloth on a building wall and took her portrait. I eventually sent her a print. Poe’s poetic statement was most profound.”
“This photograph of a photograph which was ‘wheat pasted’ on the side of a derelict building on the Ute Reservation outside of Kenyatta has a strong statement of not only the individual who was photographed, who had the word tattooed on his fingers but for me as well — a belief in self, a belief in self actualization, a belief in work. I have passed by this derelict building since this photo was taken, and vandals have partially destroyed it.“
“This image is a sad commentary on our society today, IMO, harking back perhaps to ‘New Topographics,’ which impacted me greatly. Likewise taken on the Reservation, this traffic stop light boldly promotes an iconic American product, perhaps at the expense of the Native Americans. This is an example perhaps of a dichotomy, a juxtaposition, paradox, metaphor and a sense of dry humor, which is a characteristic of my work. An honest statement of the times, and it does little to promote or help the identity of the Native Americans. It does in fact lessen them. Food for thought!“