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Exhibit displays conceptual photos

Photo courtesy of the Urban Arts Center

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“Third Eye,” an exhibition at the OSU Urban Arts Space, features 10 Columbus-based artists who question and explore understandings of modern-day photography.

“The exhibition sets up this really interesting dichotomy of two polar aspects (intrusion and intimacy) of photography’s effect on both the viewer and the artist’s perception,” said Jackie Little, City Center Columbus gallery director.

The project deliberates the potential of photography to serve as a language.

Ryan Walters, the curator for “Third Eye,” designed the exhibition to enable a discussion “about the effect photography can have on the way we experience our life.”

The Urban Arts Space selected “Third Eye” for several reasons, Little said.

“Ryan (Walters) put together an incredibly intriguing proposal that was well-written and thought-provoking,” she said. “The exhibition touches on concerns that are being discussed in international art today. Mainly, to what effect the photographic lens has on the viewer’s perception.”

Walters originally began the project with Christopher Von Holle, a peer and one of the artists. One of the duo’s Columbus College of Art and Design professors, John Fergus-Jean, a former curator of photo exhibits at the Columbus Museum of Art, served as an inspiration.

Walters wanted to give exposure to the artists that weren’t getting the recognition he thought they should.

“I used my peers for the show,” Walters said. “I kept seeing them having really nice work, really strong concepts, but they just weren’t getting publicity and I really wanted to go on a curatorial adventure.”

The exhibit acts to serve the goal of the City Center by giving young artists a place to display their wares.

“Our main mission is to establish a space where our community can enjoy and consider original modern-day artwork that is being created right here in our city,” Little said.

Each artist has interest in his or her own area of expertise, using photography as a channel to discuss perception and a condition within life, Walters said.

Each individual piece talks about aspects of life, he said, such as the ability of an image to be reproduced.

Though the exhibit features 10 artists, only nine of the artists’ works are presented in the City Center Gallery. The 10th artist will only be performing the night of the reception, Jan. 28. The specifics of his performance are not being disclosed, for thematic reasons.

“The way his work fits into the show is that it is not going to be documented at all,” Walters said.

Walters and the artists have worked as a team to advertise for the event and the Urban Arts Space has given the event a lot of attention as well, he said.

“Working with the space was amazing,” Walters said. “They (enabled) us to network with a bunch of people we wouldn’t have been able (to otherwise).”

Walters said he wants the viewers of “Third Eye” “to see how the show is laid out and for them to draw comparisons between the artists’ work and start to develop their own understanding of how they’re interacting within the space.”

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