July Fourth and a Little First Friday

Fireworks, Fourth of July, Knoxville, 2013

Fireworks, Fourth of July, Knoxville, 2013

I hope you guys had a great July 4th weekend. I realize we all either have opened up our inner duck or have begun construction of boats of Biblical proportions, but the weekend downtown turned out pretty well despite the sometimes awful weather. If I had three requests for better weather moments during the weekend, it would have been for the fireworks to be fired on schedule and for relatively dry weather for First Friday and the Market Square Farmers’ Market. Well, check, check and mate: we got it all.

I made an attempt in the light rain to take decent fireworks photographs. Those of you who are long term readers know I’m horrible at fireworks photography. This year, I thought it might be different. I learned how to set my camera and learned that a tripod is required. My conclusion after a miserable lot of shots is that I need better. Better tripod, better remote and, most of all, better lens. Contact me if you want to make a contribution!

First Friday really wasn’t wet at all, but the threat of rain seemed to keep the crowds on the lighter side. Several of my favorite or otherwise interesting artists had showings, so I took the camera (and a plastic grocery bag for it, just in case) and hit several spots.

Chris Cornett, First Friday at Union Avenue Books, Knoxville, July 2013

Chris Cornett, First Friday at Union Avenue Books, Knoxville, July 2013

Chris Cornett, First Friday at Union Avenue Books, Knoxville, July 2013

Chris Cornett, First Friday at Union Avenue Books, Knoxville, July 2013

Chris Cornett and Sarah Jane Holland displayed their works at Union Avenue Books. I’ve talked about them before – I believe each of them showed at the Preservation Pub Annex at the same time. Great art and one of my absolute favorite places downtown was a combination I couldn’t resist. It was good to be able to speak to each of them and I believe I’ll have more of Chris’ art coming up when I talk about the latest installation of alley art in the city.

Sarah Jane Holland, Union Avenue Books, First Friday Knoxville, July 2013

Sarah Jane Holland, Union Avenue Books, First Friday Knoxville, July 2013

Bill Foster, Photographing the Bob Dylan Birthday Bash, Knoxville, June 2013

Bill Foster, Photographing the Bob Dylan Birthday Bash, Knoxville, June 2013

Next I walked to Preservation Pub and up to the second floor speakeasy to spend some time appreciating the magnificent photography of Bill Foster. It was inevitable that Bill and I would meet after I started writing this blog. He sees more local music than I do and he’s always taking photographs. His concert photography is excellent, but as this exhibition demonstrates, he has an incredible range, running the gamut from cityscapes to portrait and nature photography.

Bill, who is nearing completion of his PhD in Political Science, gets excited when talking about his photography and the subjects of the images. Tim Lee, who is featured with his wife Susan in one of the pieces on display, stopped by to congratulate Bill while we talked. His personal friendships with many of the local musicians probably factors into the kind of work he’s able to produce.

Bill Foster, Preservation Pub, First Friday Knoxville, July 2013

Bill Foster, Preservation Pub, First Friday Knoxville, July 2013

Knowledgeable on many topics, his understanding of composition and editing software seem, from my novice perspective, to be limitless. Some of the photographs shown are composites of several photographs. Some, such as the fascinating image of RB Morris are the result of endless experimentation with different effects. Others, such as the one of the girl with the wagon, which I think may be my favorite, are simply spontaneous gifts, shot quickly and perfectly.

Bill Foster, Preservation Pub, First Friday Knoxville, July 2013

Bill Foster, Preservation Pub, First Friday Knoxville, July 2013

Bill Foster, Preservation Pub, First Friday Knoxville, July 2013

Bill Foster, Preservation Pub, First Friday Knoxville, July 2013

This showing features his photographs displayed as prints on aluminum and each are for sale, most for somewhere around $200. He’s sold several already which are featured in the show, including his upward shot of autumn trees which has been purchased by and will be on display in the Knoxville Visitor’s Center.

I saw more, but I’ll leave the rest for another post. Please stop by Union Avenue Books and Preservation Pub to see these excellent exhibitions. You’ll be glad you did. I’ve already gone back to show a friend some of the work. You also might want to buy a piece of art and remember, “Blessed are those who love the artists for they shall be surrounded in beauty.” Wasn’t that somewhere in the beatitudes?

There was more art and other fun to be had, but that will have to wait until another post.

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