Crescent Beach Photography Club puts on overlapping exhibitions

SURREY — The roughly 70 members in the 30-year strong Crescent Beach Photography Club all have something in common: a love of art and photography.

Until this year, the crew was happy just to get together every first, third and last Wednesday of the month (from September to May) to chat at Crescent Beach’s Alexandra Hall. The group regularly holds workshops, brings in speakers and works on projects together.

Something that’s not as common for the group, however, is curating an exhibition together.

According to the club’s president Derek Hayes, who’s been part of the group for the past five years and leading it for a year-and-a-half, the members put on an exhibition about every three years.

What’s rare is that, this year, they’re curating two.

"That’s not a normal thing for us," Hayes told the Now at his White Rock home, where some of his own photos and artwork are displayed. "Usually it would be one about every three years."

The club’s current exhibition at Newton Cultural Centre (13530 72nd Ave.) began Nov. 1 and will run on until Nov. 30.

It features 40 works from members of the CBPC, including film and digital photos. The second, kicking off at Surrey Art Gallery this Saturday (Nov. 22), called Global Views, focuses on photos and digital images taken in places such as Asia, Australia, Europe and Africa.

According to Hayes, having the two exhibitions cross over meant more members could have their works displayed as well as being challenged to produce more.

"The one in Newton was booked a year ahead and then the Surrey Art Gallery asked us about six months ago about whether we’d like to do one there, so we ended up doing it," he explained.

"They overlapped. The result of that is probably good because there’s two completely different sets of images whereas if one had followed the other, there would be a tendency for people to just transfer one from the other."

This way, club members had more to choose from and more time to get creative. And, according to Hayes, the chosen photos leaned toward the artistic side rather than the traditional.

"It starts life as a photograph," he said of the digitally manipulated selections. "These days, photography is probably only 50 per cent taking the actual photograph, and 50 per cent is dealing with it in a computer afterwards."

Some photographers in the group manipulate their works through PhotoShop, having the print look more like a painting than a photo, and others even use mixed media like embroidering designs in the corners of their pictures.

"We spend as much time sometimes on these photos as an artist would painting something. It’s a work of art. Sure, you could take a photograph and, bang, that’s it. If you’re lucky, that’s fine," Hayes said.

Forty photos by the Crescent Beach Photography Club in the Global Views exhibit will be on display from Saturday (Nov. 22) until Feb. 8 at Surrey Art Gallery (13750 88th Ave.).

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