Photographer Olson to be featured in annual Fulton County Art Show

Hope Falls photographer Judy Olson, the featured artist at this year’s Fulton County Art Show, will

Hope Falls photographer Judy Olson, the featured artist at this year’s Fulton County Art Show, will present 42 works reflecting her interest in nature and creative efforts in abstract photography.

An invitation-only reception for Olson will be held tonight at the First Congregational Church on East Fulton Street.

The show, which also presents up to five entries from dozens of other artists as well as top local high school artists competing in a juried division for nearly $2,000 in scholarship awards, opens Sunday and closes May 8.

Longtime show chairwoman Anne Lee Clough and event spokesperson Ellen Wood issued a joint statement Friday, asserting Olson’s work is not only “different from what people might think of photography … her work opens your eyes and asks you to look differently at photography.”

The two show officials said Olson’s work creates “a very attractive exhibit.”

Olson grew up in Torrington, Conn., and has lived in Northville for more than 30 years.

An exhibitor at the county art show since 2004, she once took classes from veteran Gloversville and World War II photographer Frank Ambrose.

She said in a biography provided to show officials that her work at Quad Graphics in Saratoga Springs exposed her daily to high-quality photography.

Olson has exhibited at the Adirondack Center for the Arts in Blue Mountain Lake, at the Frenchy Loeb Art Gallery in Saratoga Springs and in a long list of juried shows.

In her biography, Olson describes herself as “a hermit, a pirate, an artist, a hippie-beatnik, a wife and a mother.”

She discusses her interest in nature photography and overlays, which she said “come from the desire to push back the boundaries of conventional photography, to add something, to bring something else to the work without being untruthful.”

In an e-mail sent Friday to the Daily Gazette, Olson elaborated on her work and approach.

“I think that being outdoors in the natural world is very healing to the spirit (and perhaps to the body as well) … My nature photographs are my way of sharing with others the calmness and clarity that I find when I am out with the trees and the water.”

With so many people trapped inside so much of the time, Olsen said, “photographs of nature displayed in our homes can bring a sense of refreshment and renewal and in these hard times we all need our spirits lifted.”

The overlays, she said, consist of two of her photographs “layered together with varying opacities so that more or less is revealed of the underlying image.”

Overlays provide the avenue to “work with the photos the way a painter will work with the paint,” Olsen said.

“Sometimes I get an idea for an overlay before I take the photos, at other times I will be looking at photos and overlays will suggest themselves.”

She will also exhibit kaleidographs, in which a photograph “is cut, copied and reassembled … the image becomes something that is not easily identified and the viewer must really look,” she said. “When we can do that, we see a lot more.”

Categories: Schenectady County

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