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Art exhibit showcases photographer’s unique vision

Sharmarke Holif
People interact with “Color Number 3” made by Doug Winter, a photographer, to convey the color blue by way of touch. The art exhibit “Echoes of Perception: Essays on Vision” is open until Nov. 16 in the Art Gallery.

The art exhibit “Echoes of Perception: Essays on Vision” by partially-sighted photographer Doug Winter opened at the campus Art Gallery on Thursday in celebration of October’s Blindness Awareness Month.

The exhibit is open until Nov. 16 on Mondays by appointment only and on Tuesday to Thursday without an appointment from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Doug Winter describes himself as “a semi-sighted photographic artist who is on a mission to explore the intricate relationship between impaired vision, accessibility, memory, color and light,” according to his website.

Winter said that he made interactive art such as his piece “Color Number 3” to help shine a light on visible or invisible disabilities, so people can talk or think differently about color.

“There are a few reasons why the art was meant to be interactive. One of the pieces asked participants to imagine what if they couldn’t see or communicate to a person what the color blue is,” Winter said. “How would you describe that color? What would you do? If you don’t have a certain sense, especially sight, it’s hard to adequately describe it. That piece in particular was made on metal and you can have a tactile experience with a color.”

Winter was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts grant, allowing the creation of the exhibit for various reasons, Photography Professor Kathryn Mayo said.

“An NEA grant is a very prestigious award that artists are given, but they have to apply for it first and go through a rigorous application process ” Mayo said. “This NEA grant was contingent upon the product being made, whatever it is, impacting the areas of its community which would benefit the most from it. Because of CRC’s location and the demographic that we serve, that was one of the deciding factors in this grant being awarded.”

Winter spoke about another piece called “The Flames of Catania” which he said was interesting to him because the display of wildfire is similar to how he sees things.

“The art replicates my own visual impairment, so the smoke is going across the highway, obscuring the clouds and the landscape is something that is mimicked in my own vision,” Winter said. “Although I don’t see smoke that changes or moves, it’s just there all the time which is difficult.”

Studio arts major Hao Kieu, 25, who’s also a gallery attendant, said he loves the exhibit’s theme, which was essential in causing a discussion about disabilities.

“Art has such an important role in a place of discussion in which uncomfortable or difficult topics can be talked about,” Kieu said. “This is a great space in which we can create these conversations in a meaningful, more enjoyable, and comfortable way.”

Kieu said “The Flames of Catania” was a special interactive piece because the participants could take a fragment of the painting with them if they shared a life experience on a piece of paper and placed it into a jar as an exchange.

Culinary Arts Management Professor Michael Frigm, a friend and colleague of Winter’s, attended the event.

“Doug is one of the most interesting people I know,” Frigm said “He has an eclectic assortment of interests and hobbies. He always has beautiful and interesting exhibits that make you think.”

Winter said he was thankful to Kathryn Mayo, Brian Rickel, and Robin Johnson who were responsible for putting the exhibit together.

“I couldn’t have pulled this off without them,” Winter said.


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About the Contributor
Sharmarke Holif, Staff Writer
Sharmarke Holif is a staff writer for the Connection newspaper. He joined the Connection because he wanted to gain experience in journalism. He wants to transfer and become an investigative journalist. He loves fantasy, magic and J.R.R. Tolkien books.

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