Chester Show of Ordinary Folks' Cellphone Photos to Aid Water.org
“Daasanech Girl, with jerrycan full of water,” from Ethiopia.
CHESTER--We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that chances are, you have a cellphone. Right? And chances are good that you use that cellphone for everything: a phone, a personal computer, a place of entertainment — and a camera.
In fact, if you’re like most of us, you go around snapping pictures all the time, and never even bother to print them out. Such is modern life.
Well, now there’s a celebration of those casually taken cellphone pictures — a combination juried gallery show, charity event, and call to all the “average Joe” photographers out there to bring their work out into the open and do some good for the planet at the same time.
Yep, it’s the inaugural “Average Joe Photo Show” at the Lori Warner Studio/Gallery at 21 Main St., running through Earth Day April 22.
There, you will find 240 photographs — cellphone photographs — taken by just average folks, all entered into a contest. The rules were simple: Use your cellphone. Take a photo that has water in it. And a human. Submit it.
That’s it. The show is the brainchild of Lori Warner, an artist and the gallery owner, and her friend, Rebecca Steiner, both of Lyme. They decided to create a show that not only celebrates the everyday photographers out there, but also will bring attention to the world’s clean water shortage.
“I wanted to do something that was philanthropic as well as fun,” says Warner. “We looked around and decided to donate money from this exhibition to water.org, which is such an incredible organization.”
As soon as Warner and Steiner put out a call for cellphone photos that contained something about water as well as a person, photos started trickling in. And by December — after an email blast — more than 200 photos came in from everywhere. You might even say it’s been a waterfall of photographs, and all of them have been printed out on archival paper and set for display in the gallery.
“It’s been fascinating to see the way different people interpret the guidelines,” says Steiner. “To see what everyone thinks of when they think of water and a human. It’s something that allows everyone to feel engaged — and to put up these photos submitted by people who are just regular folks, being next to photos by those who are professional artists or writers — it’s amazing.”
The photos will be up from Super Bowl Sunday until Earth Day, which is April 22. All the photos submitted were taken in the calendar year 2013, and they come from all over the world.