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New Kensington Camera Club recapture nature’s floral beauty in exhibit

Rex Rutkoski

From beginning to end, Don Henderson says, flowers are a significant part of our lives.

Think about it, the president of New Kensington Camera Club says: “We give flowers to our sweethearts, to our loved ones when they are sick, on holidays, special days, anniversaries. Flowers are part of our culture. We plant them around our houses, treasure them for their beauty, their fragrance, their symbolism,” he says. “Flowers are a sign of respect and sympathy when we pass.”

They definitely serve multiple roles in our lives, says Angela Shearon of New Kensington. “They celebrate birth, spring, new life,” she says. “There is not much not to like about them, other than they don’t last forever.”

Shearon, Henderson and fellow members of the camera club are seeing what they can do about extending that lifespan by preserving as many flowers as they can for the club’s debut “Spring Flower Photo Show” at the Allegheny-Kiski Valley Historical Society’s Heritage Museum in Tarentum.

Dolly Mistrick of Tarentum, president of the historical society, says the organization is pleased to host the event. “It demonstrates the value of bringing people together to share their talents,” she says. “It also will show the community we are open and willing to work with other groups in the Alle-Kiski area.”

“Spring is a time of rebirth, and this show will symbolize the rebirth of the camera club,” Henderson says. “Photos from some really talented photographers can be purchased to raise funds for a historic marker for New Kensington’s own Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, the late Eddie Adams. So, this is important for the whole community to be a part of, plus a little color will brighten up your day.”

Proceeds also will help fund the first Eddie Adams Photography Festival on June 9 and 10, celebrating the life and talent of Adams. “He showed the world the power of a photograph,” says show vice chairman William Hall of Lower Burrell, club treasurer.

“If you enjoy flowers, you will enjoy seeing the results of these talented photographers that capture a brief, beautiful moment,” Hall says. “It is so important to the photographers that people see and enjoy their efforts.”

Hall’s entries include flowers from his wife’s garden, among other locations.

Henderson’s photos come from his and a neighbor’s yard, and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Oakland.

Shearon found Phipps a rich resource for entries. “I was most particularly drawn to the bright, pink daisies and the orchids. I found the orchids to have attitude and personality,” she says.

Orchids are one of Gary Sprague’s favorite flowers to photograph. “They all seem to have little faces,” says the New Kensington resident, club vice president. “I love to capture that face in ways most people do not see.”

A purple orchid at Phipps particularly spoke to him. “I shot this one because of its color. To me, this flower is a representation of life,” he says. “Everyone loves flowers, but those who can’t be around flowers for health reasons, a simple photograph can be a real blessing.”

Firefighter James Sabulsky of Lower Burrell believes an exhibit devoted to flowers offers “endless possibilities” for a photographer. “It is the perfect first show for the club to have, because every member, amateur or professional, can be showcased.”

One of his entries takes viewers inside a lily in his backyard.

Eric Rogerson of Springdale, who has a photo of a yellow flower being visited by a tiny bee at Twin Lakes Park, Greensburg, appreciates that perspective. “Photography can help me see the small things other people might not see,” he says. “I enjoy sharing the world around me.”

So does Shane Henderson of New Kensington, drawn to the vibrant colors he found in flowers in Moon. “Flowers capture our attention by showing us some of the natural beauty and colors around us, and the details inside that you might not always catch when first seeing them from a distance,” he says.

Laurie Roffol of Washington Township immediately was drawn to the rose she is showcasing, along with two flowers she shot in Alaska last summer. “My husband had given me a dozen roses for Valentine’s Day this year in assorted colors. This was a treat. These were some of the most beautiful roses as they opened. The white ones, in particular, just caught the natural light perfectly,” she says.

Show chairperson Joyce Stewart Lunsford of Tarentum says camera club members are eager to offer this exhibit.

“It is the perfect time for this show with spring upon us, and everything starting to bloom,” she says. “Aside from being beautiful, I love to shoot flowers because they are the perfect model; they don’t move.”

Additional Information:

Spring Flower Photo Show

What: New Kensington Camera Club

When: Saturday through April 30

Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 2-5 p.m. Sunday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday; 5-7 p.m. Tuesday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday; 6-8 p.m. April 26; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. April 27-28; 2-5 p.m. April 29; 3-6 p.m. April 30

Admission: Free

Where: Allegheny-Kiski Valley Historical Society’s Heritage Museum, 224 E. Seventh Ave., Tarentum

Details: 724-448-3716 (Camera Club); 724-224-7666 (museum); www.nkcameraclub.org ; [email protected]


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