The Colorado Photographic Arts Center Presents Its 59th Annual Jury Members’ Show

“In our professional and personal lives, we look at hundreds, if not thousands, of photographs every day. Despite this constant stream of images that we all experience, I’m certainly not the only one who continues to find endlessly fascinating images,” said Gregory Harris, curator of photography at the High Museum of Art. “Critic Vince Aletti recently commented on photography’s unusual ability to capture ‘the rich and eerie randomness of real life’. It is arguably the medium’s ability to take what may seem mundane and familiar and transform it into something strange and enigmatic that continually brings us back to photography.

A juror of this year’s annual members’ exhibit at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center (CPAC), this anecdote comes from Harris’s jurors’ statement, serving as the perfect introduction to the carefully curated photographs that appear on the walls of the Golden Triangle gallery. . On display until August 6, CPAC’s 59th Annual Jury MembersThe show features the random and wonderful works of local and national artists.

Photo by Shana Cruz-Thompson

For nearly 60 years, CPAC has used its annual members’ lounge as a platform, supporting emerging and underrepresented voices within the photographic community. Accepting submissions from local and national artists, the exhibition showcases a wide range of artistic styles and personalities.

“We usually open the call for applications around early or mid-February and this continues until April. The jurors review everything and select plays for our show,” explained Desa Beslic, operations and communications manager at CPAC. “Artists can submit anything from a series of work they are developing or just a collection of images they want to put in the entry. There is no theme, no requirement for a full portfolio. It’s really very open.

Juror Gregory Harris was challenged to select thirty images for the exhibit.

“The range of distinctive approaches and the consistently high caliber of work presented here are sure signs of the richness of contemporary photography. I had no shortage of stellar photography to choose from,” he explained in his statement.

Unlike the old jurors, who typically selected thirty different images from thirty artists, Harris selected only sixteen artists to fill the same number of spots. By displaying multiple pieces by certain artists, viewers gain a complex understanding of the photographer’s style – the themes that remain constant from photo to photo.

“The photographs collected here coalesce around seemingly ordinary ideas, experiences and emotions – family ties or the beauty of the natural world – but delving into the depths of the everyday offers unlimited ground for revelation and discovery. . The photographers included in this exhibition masterfully harness the medium’s unique ability to tap into what may be mundane and transform it into something utterly captivating,” Harris wrote.

With two weeks left for this exhibition, the annual Members’ Fair is just one example of the nonprofit’s endless mission to support the arts community.

“Our mission at CPAC is to support and give space and a platform to a variety of voices, including underrepresented voices. LGBTQIA+, different races, ethnicities and ages,” Belsic said.

Presenting seven to 10 exhibitions per year, CPAC focuses on educating and supporting the artists of tomorrow. Belsic is preparing impatiently Emerging Visionsan exhibition featuring only the work of current photography students coming later this year.

“It’s always a really cool exhibit. We see this new perspective, this new wave of photography,” she said.

CPAC also offers a number of internships, giving students a way to get their foot in the door of the arts industry. But this is just the beginning for the organization. Moving to a new location in the Golden Triangle neighborhood in 2023, the 4,000 square foot space will provide an additional gallery, dedicated classroom, and additional resources for artists and visitors.

Closing August 6, CPAC’s 59th Annual Jury MembersShow proves to be a staple for Denver art lovers, but it’s just one of the nonprofit’s many impressive initiatives.

The Colorado Photographic Arts Center is Denver’s only nonprofit that focuses solely on the art of photography. Their 59th Annual Jury MembersSpectacle is visible until August 6th. Currently located at 1070 Bannock Street, Denver, CPAC is seeking donations to create a world-class center for photography through its “Framing the Future” campaign. For more information on upcoming exhibitions and internship opportunities, visit their website.

Photos by Shana Cruz-Thompson.

Michael E. Marquez