Photography:(noun) the art or practice of taking and processing photographs.
A split-second capture of a moment in time; joyous, somber, terrifying, momentous. We see them in everything we do. Magazines, billboards, Social Media, browsing the internet. The mom taking photos of her newborn, the students in a photography class at the local college, an amateur learning the ropes, and the professional you see at events, news incidents, etc.
In Southern Maryland, we have a strong creative community. From the local music scene to the artwork and murals of Leonardtown, art studios in Calvert, to artists and photographers. You can the many kinds we have showcased in our SoMD Arts and Entertainment section.
This past March, two great friends and a couple of Southern Maryland’s best Photographers thought up the idea to showcase all this talent at the SoMD Photography Gallery held at the Pax River Naval Air Museum. I sat down with Bert Hindman and Jack Nutter to discuss this inaugural event.
“This was all about community. This is all about getting people together, getting people that don’t have exposure for their work, giving them the opportunity to do that. We didn’t want this to be about competition. It’s about collaboration, getting people to work together. Jack and I have a fairly good following down here. And there are other people that don’t and we want them to. It wasn’t about us, it was about getting these young, high school kids, these people that do some amazing work with landscapes and portraits and things, giving them the opportunity to have exposure with people and just work together and find ways to be together. And it’s been all that so far,” said Hindman.
Nutter said, “We thought like maybe a weekend and maybe we could get four or five people together. And they(Pax River Naval Air Museum) wanted to put us in for a long time. And we said, well, we all of a sudden have 25-30 photographers that were invited and all wanted to be part of it. Then the music community stepped in and did us a huge favor that we could never repay them for and it just brings all the different artistic people together. And it’s like we won before today. It’s a lot of people are getting together and collaborating already. And that’s what we want.”
During the event, there was an auction of work with the proceeds going to the St. Mary’s Arts Council, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the Naval Air Museum.
Bert and Jack created a piece centered around suicide prevention. “It was by far the most emotional piece that I have ever been a part of creating that again, to be able to do the best from both of us. It was emotionally draining. My daughter looked at it immediately cried, a gentleman from suicide prevention, looked at it and pulled his car over. And you can hear the emotion in his voice. The head of the Maryland Suicide Prevention Chapter was just talking to us. We showed it to her this morning. When you see this piece, it’s more of a wow.”
The youngest photographer at the show was Michael Barron, son of Bobby Barron another great photographer in the area. I asked him about how he felt being included in a show with not only his dad but all the other talent in Southern Maryland. He said, “I feel very important here. And I’m happy that this is an amazing opportunity.”
Being young he is around others that may not have a person close to them like Michael’s dad that can teach them the ins and outs of this art. So Michael’s advice to the younger photographer generation is, “Don’t give up on what you love. So if you love this, keep doing it. You’ll get better and better.”
Ashley Spaulding, the event coordinator for the museum told us how the show actually fits in with the Museum’s mission, “Well, I think a big part of the museum, part of our statement is to inspire and educate. And art is a huge part of that. Not to mention, art typically drives a lot of innovation here. So, you know, bringing a highlight to that I think is really important for the community. And it just brings us all together. And especially in this past year, we’ve had a lot of losses in the community. So it’s nice to see, and I’m happy to help in any way I can.”
On this Saturday of the event, some from the local music scene volunteered their time. artists like Steven Nelson of ShallowDeep, Robbie Booth, Wes Ryce, Michael Trujillo, and Chris Aleshire.
For Nelson being there,” It’s a huge honor, I love Bert and Jack, Jeff, all the photographers that are involved with this today. And it was the least we could do to show in play in order to hopefully bring out a few more heads to look at their art.”
Recently the local music scene lost one of their own to a suicide. “I think everyone has played a song for Derek today in their sets and we’re all thinking about him as we’re playing along also for Rob of Three Days of Rain. Celina, the lady who went to the bingo that I hosted, you know, like, she was awesome. We’re playing for them as well, you know, hopefully bringing in a little bit of money for suicide prevention.,” said Nelson.
Local photographer Jenn Dorsey, who was also showing some of her work there said,” It just feels like my family gets more and more extended every time I come out like I meet new musicians, new photographers, new artists. And every time I come out, I just find new inspiration.”
When she spoke of what it was like being asked to be part of the show, “My initial thought was I fangirl because I’m a huge fan of both of their work. And then I was like, Yeah, this is an amazing opportunity and I hope to work with them someday on collabing on shoots.”
At the end of the day, the collaboration between Jack and Bert was set to be auctioned off but was donated to suicide prevention.
“For families that have been affected, and for others who have been affected that there is time for health and healing. And if we help one person this week, then it’s been awesome,” Hindman said.
The duo has been asked to do another show and will begin working on that in the near future.