Photographer and past president of ART/PLACE Gallery takes first place in Wilton show

David-Pressler

David Pressler

Shelton photographer David Pressler took first place in the adult division of the Wilton Arts Council’s Focus ‘15 photography exhibition Friday, March 13. Pressler received his award during the show’s opening reception at Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Road. The show may be viewed through March 28.

Pressler was one of 110 professional, amateur, student and youth photographers from across Fairfield County who entered 186 photos in the annual event that was judged by photographers Daryl Hawk, Sandy Gennrich and Sooo-Z Mastropietro.

Best of Show was awarded to Steve Barnes of West Haven, whose photo The Thief was a large print of a squirrel coming down a tree, appearing to look right into the camera.

Hawk, an international photographer from Wilton, has judged the competition for many years and said, “my first reaction is the creativity was pushed further to an extreme than ever before.

“The whole level of work continuously gets better and better,” which he attributed to “a universal passion for photography. People are putting more energy and thought into what they are shooting.”

Many entries had the right combination of composition, light and subject matter that produces a “wow factor,” he said. “That’s what makes this contest so exciting.” He added the entrants should be proud “just to be on the wall.”

He described Pressler as “one of the most talented, innovative and creative photographers I know.”

Pressler’s winning entry, Charred Landscape, is not a landscape anyone would see outdoors. He painted an image with ground graphite and India ink on transparent 35mm colorless film and then photographed it with a macro-lens on a light table, backlighting the image.

“It is a photo of a symbolic landscape,” he said, “so it is innovative and unexpected.

“This image is one of a series of paintings that are metaphors for birth, growth, decline and regeneration, based on my fascination with the forms and structures of the natural world and its organic forms — from the microcosm of bio-forms to the macrocosm of growth, geological formations and erosion. By enlarging these tiny forms, I intend to transport the viewer into fresh ways of looking and seeing.

“In my late teens I was gifted two Zeiss cameras by my grandfather,” he said. “Ever since then I have been documenting what I see around me, as I move through life, experiences that I have enjoyed sharing.

He said his overall intention is to encourage people to “learn to look in order to see. If you open your eyes and look at the small things, you’ll be amazed at what you can see.”

Pressler is an artist member and past president of ART/PLACE Gallery, Fairfield; artist member of the Westport Arts Center; Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Norwalk; member of the Fairfield Arts Council; and professional member of the Norwalk Camera Club.

He is also a founding member of the Friends of the Fairfield Public Library’s Curatorial Committee for the Bruce S. Kershner Gallery.

Charred Landscape by David Pressler

Charred Landscape by David Pressler

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