By Erica Horoky – Photo Editor
The 45th annual Festival Regional Arts Exhibition, part of the Festival of the Arts, returned to the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts (2 Fulton St. W) on May 30, and will be on display until August 17.
The exhibition features a variety of mediums including photography, sculpture, paintings, jewelry and more, all created by local artists. A number of Grand Rapids Community College students and professors have their work on display including Katie Budden, Dianne Carroll Burdick, Don Ketchel, Jon Lopez, Dann Mansel, Kathy Odiorne, Jean Orians, Ruth Parbel, Michelle Lynn, Cam Southwood, Paul Willis, and Tony Wright.
Cam Southwood, a 23-year–old GRCC student pursuing an Associates in Fine Arts, has his work “Contours”, a semester-long digital photography project, featured in the exhibition. “Certain ideas came up and it kind of just evolved on its own,” Southwood said. “It was mainly to look at the body abstractly and to experiment with how light reacted with the body and the texture of the skin.”
Paul Willis, a non-degree seeking GRCC student with a passion for photography, will be showing two large-format pieces: “Achromatic Beauties” and “Focus Oculi.” Willis has been studying photography at GRCC for six years, and has taken every photography class besides two.
“As I got closer to retirement, I figured I could learn to improve my photography if I took some classes,” Willis said. “I’m not in a degree program or looking for a career, I just want to get better. I’ve met a lot of great photographers in my six years at GRCC, and I’ve seen a lot become great photographers.”
Be sure to check out the variety of work on display, especially over the weekend of the Festival of the Arts (June 6-8) for food, activies, and performances. The closing reception will be held on August 17.