Phinney Fence by Jacob Smithers
“Environmental Still Life,” an art exhibit featuring photography by Jacob Smithers, can be seen through Aug. 10 in the ArtsNow gallery at the Edmonds Conference Center, 201 Fourth Ave. N, Edmonds.
A reception with the artist will be held 5-8 p.m., Thurs., June 21 at the conference center during the Edmonds Third Thursday Art Walk. There will be music by The Jazz Pearls (Ashley Webster, Morgan Gilkeson, and Louise Uriu), and refreshments will be provided.
Admission is free.
Smithers was born in the Seattle area, majored in Environmental Science at Seattle University, and studied under Photographic Center Northwest and Seattle University’s Claire Garoutte. He continues to work with several nonprofit organizations, harmonizing his love for photography and community.
Smithers often uses aged structures and nature as his subject matter. His photographs border between figurative and abstract. They close in and capture patterns and textures of rural subjects.
“It’s interesting how as people we change so much as the years go by, but deep down we retain a strong sense of self and that core of who we are tends to stay the same,” said Smithers.
There is a strong sense of timelessness in the photographs. The frames further the themes that are explored by adding a new level of experience.
“When I first began framing photographs in conventional frames, I felt they detracted from the photographs rather than complimenting them. I recognized this imperfection in my process and longed for a solution. One day, as I was walking down the street, I noticed a pile of junk. In the pile there was an old cooler window, the kind bartenders pulled sodas out of in the '50s, and I thought to myself, ‘I bet I could frame a photo in there’.”
Now Smithers uses antique frames and other materials with minimal alterations or repairs.