Photographer Dennis Church’s show Florida Moments will open at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center on Friday, January 4 during Art Walk. The photographs were all made in Florida but are not just about place. More, they are about a state of mind and heart. Thus, the historic Davis Art Center evokes nostalgia for treasured moments in the past and provides the perfect setting for Church’s exhibit.
Dennis Church believes that the “fountain of youth” for which everyone searches is actually freedom from self and one’s own mind, and the product of that: enduring joy. Photography and photographs do that for him. Its process and products keep him in the moment, and in the moment there is eternity, joy, energy and excitement that wake him up to all life has to offer.
His exhibit consists of seventy-six 24 x 36 inch images. The large images will fill the Davis Art Center with colorful, everyday moments which often go by unnoticed but have been captured by Church along with all the beauty and exhilaration contained in them.
Born in 1949 in Mason City, Iowa, Church grew up on the family farm in Mitchell County, Iowa. After graduating from Iowa State University in 1975, he moved to Wisconsin to undertake graduate studies in psychology at The University of Wisconsin-Madison. That same year, he began photographing and was so moved by the power of the medium, he left graduate school to pursue artistic goals.
Although he is primarily self taught, Church has attended artist’s workshops in Millerton, New York and The Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York. He received project art grants in Wisconsin, exhibited extensively in the Midwest, and enjoyed a 20-year career as a freelance photographer, working on assignments for local, regional and national magazines, advertising and public relations firms.
Church left creative photography for close to 20 years to pursue business interests, but began photographing again after being “Rip Van Winkled” awake after acquiring new digital equipment. He has since produced a large body of new work and now lives in Bonita Springs, Florida. He is highly influenced by photographers Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander and William Eggleston, the painter Edward Hopper, and the creative depth and endurance of Bob Dylan.
Winogrand said, “Nothing is as mysterious as a fact clearly stated.” Complementing that, Church adds, “Nothing is as exhilarating as a moment fully experienced.” Florida Moments is a collection of those moments.
The exhibit opens on January 4 at 6:00 p.m. and continues through January 25. Catalogs representing the show will be available for purchase.
The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First Street in the downtown Fort Myers River District. For more information, please visit www.sbdac.com or telephone 239-333-1933.