Award-winning photographer George Kalinsky, who’s photographed hundreds of stars over the past half-century as the resident photographer for Madison Square Garden; acclaimed wet plate photographer Ian Ruhter; and new immersive photography experiences for all ages highlight the lineup of events and presentations at the 2016 Olympus InVision Photo Festival Nov. 4-6 at the Banana Factory and ArtsQuest Center in Bethlehem. The photography festival, which is celebrating its seventh year, is designed to engage photographers on all levels by providing intimate access to world-class photographers and their work through hands-on workshops, classes and lectures.
Headlining InVision is George Kalinsky, the house photographer for Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall for five decades, and previously the official photographer for the New York Mets. During his career, Kalinsky has captured a who’s who of the sports and entertainment industries, including iconic images of John Lennon, Michael Jordan, Elvis Presley and Mohammed Ali. He has also published 10 books and won countless awards including Pratt Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Kalinsky’s work has been exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the International Center of Photography and Tokyo’s Olympus Plaza Gallery, and his concert photography is included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. During InVision, a selection of his photos from the private collection of Monica and David Willard will be on display inside the Alvin H. Butz Gallery at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks. Kalinsky will also lecture on “Capturing the World’s Greatest Entertainers” Nov. 5, 1 p.m., at the ArtsQuest Center, as well as jury InVision’s College Photographer’s Competition.
Also appearing at InVision is Ian Ruhter, a contemporary photographer who has created the world’s largest wet plate collodion direct positives, also known as ambrotypes. Wet-plate collodion photography is an 1800s photographic process that was responsible for capturing the first images of the West and portraits of people such as President Abraham Lincoln. The entire process has to be completed, from start to finish, while the plate is still wet; in order to create giant glass plates of his images, Ruhter transformed a delivery truck into a giant mobile camera.
At InVision, Ruhter will debut his most recent project, “Carnival of Dreams,” featuring work from his “Slab City” series depicting life at a homeless encampment in California’s Imperial and Coachella Valley. His exhibition will premiere with an artist lecture during ArtsQuest’s First Friday Nov. 4, 7 p.m., in the Banana Factory’s Banko Gallery. On Nov. 5, 4 p.m., Ruhter will partner with filmmaker Lauren Vance to show a documentary film about “Carnival of Dreams” and host a talkback session. The short film captures Ruhter’s experience working together with actor, director and photographer Gary Oldman to capture the unrestricted and unregulated homeless encampment in California.
“Olympus strives to play an integral role in helping people around the world lead more fulfilling lives,” says Jennifer Colucci, Manager of Public Relations, Social Media & Sponsorships at Olympus America Inc. “We are proud to continue our partnership with ArtsQuest and our local community by serving as the title sponsor of the Olympus InVision Photo Festival. As the festival continues to grow each year, we look to introduce new programming and opportunities for participants to engage in and learn about photography, network and to understand and celebrate the importance of photographs.”
New to the festival this year is the InVision Photo Party featuring the Pints and Pics Happy Hour Nov. 5, 5:30-9 p.m. At the Happy Hour attendees will get to test the latest Olympus camera equipment, including cameras and lenses, while visiting photo stations featuring skateboarders; dancers; fire spinners; food; concert settings and more. Olympus Visionaries & Trailblazers will also be on hand to offer tips and strategies for taking better images; the party will conclude with the awards ceremony for the Pennsylvania Photographer’s and College Photographer’s competitions.
Photographers looking to combine their love of history with their medium can spend Sunday afternoon with Olympus Trailblazer Frank Smith as he leads a guided photography excursion through south Bethlehem with “In the Footsteps of Walker Evans.” The workshop, set for Nov. 6, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., retraces the work of Evans, the photojournalist who famously captured industrial life in the steel town while documenting the effects of the Great Depression for the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s.
“We are excited to celebrate traditional and contemporary photography at the Olympus InVision festival, and expand our offerings this year to include image-based artists who use photography in new and exciting ways to shape their work,” says ArtsQuest Senior Director of Visual Arts Stacie Brennan. “Our goal is to cultivate the next generation of artists and to make photography more accessible by offering interactive and informative programming for photographers and artists at all levels of their career.”
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