‘Beauty Captured’ is a great library art show
Used with permission - © 2010, K. James Kropp/Creative Spark! All rights reserved
Updated: March 3, 2012 8:17AM
Don’t let the label “Quiet Reading Room” at the Hinsdale Public Library lull you into thinking that anything sedate, hush-hush or even remotely bordering on the boring is happening on the walls there. In fact, this space with its abundant natural light has become a vibrant go-to place to see works of artists who have some connection in one way or another with the village.
During the next few weeks, we can enjoy the stunning photographs of K. James Kropp. But even better than the works will be the artist at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3, when Kropp will present “Capturing Beauty with Your Camera: 10 Tips to Taking Better Photographs” in conjunction with the exhibit.
Kropp is a Hinsdale resident and a professional photographer, videographer, producer and former advertising agency creative director. A few years ago, at the urging of his students, he published a how-to manual/coffee table type book Capturing Beauty with Your Camera: 10 Tips to Taking Better Photographs, which will be the basis of his presentation. This promises to be both an enlightening and enjoyable evening, and in this age when virtually everyone is armed with a camera of sorts, it could be useful as well.
Just a quick glance at the 14 works hung in the Quiet Reading Room reveals that Kropp does indeed know more than a thing or two about capturing beauty. Each photograph — and these are large shots of 26x34 inches — corresponds with some sort of captured beauty.
“Beauty in Color” is a mouth-watering picture of bright orange, green-skinned oranges. So vivid is the photo, you can almost scent the citrus feel the spray of the juice.
“Beauty in Textures” has such a painterly quality, I wanted to run my fingers over the surface to assure myself it was a photo and not a painting. It is a picture of a second story set of balcony doors set against the peeling plaster of an outside wall. The colors are muted pastels, and the photo captures a quaint image of decay. In fact Kropp said, “if this was Hinsdale, we would have scraped it off and cleaned it up by now.”
The photos from Capturing Beauty come from a trip Kropp took to Sicily and Italy in 2009, but the “Beauty in Texture” could be from almost Old World anywhere. In “Beauty in Highlights,” Kropp said he broke one of photography’s rules and used an airplane window frame as a border in his picture, a shot looking down through the spotted clouds to a farmland patchwork with a village off to the lower corner.
Kropp said that the appeal of photography has always been the ability to capture a decisive moment for all of eternity. But he has taken that one step farther when he sought to capture beauty.
At one point, when he was in the library hanging up Capturing Beauty, he said he ran into one of the women artists from the previous exhibit, A Balancing Act, which is neat in that the Quiet Reading Room is fostering some community among artists, too. A Balancing Act: Interruptions and Transformations came from the studios of six area women who are all artists and who were exploring their ability to juggle their art with their responsibilities at home, with their kids and husbands and with their other duties. The opening reception in September for that exhibit was standing room only. Previous exhibits have included showcasing the talents of art teachers in Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary District 181 as well as High School District 86. Samantha Bittman, a 2000 Hinsdale Central graduate, displayed her striking textiles in “Happiness By The Pool” last winter — a welcome contrast to the snow-covered lawns.
More to come
Look for an exhibit of computer-generated art courtesy of our middle school students in the future, according to Karen Keefe, the library’s executive director. She said a Library Art Committee, consisting of board members, library staff and various people from the village have worked to bring the quarterly displays to the Quiet Reading Room. They deserve a not-so-quiet round of applause for the variety and quality they have found so far.
For more information or to register for the Friday, Feb. 3 program on Capturing Beauty, call the library at (630) 986-1976, or visit www.hinsdalelibrary.info. To learn more about Kropp’s book, visit www.capturingbeautybooks.com.
(630) 320-5448 • firstname.lastname@example.org