Sheldon photo exhibit showcases local photographers

By Sarah Weinman, Special to the Jewish Light

As a photography lover, I was naturally drawn to the show St. Louis Camera Club Centennial Exhibition at The Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries. It features 50 photos by current club members and covers the themes Nature, Color, Travel and Photojournalism. There’s a nice mix of color and black and white, and of natural, man-made and human subjects.

Nature includes two of my three favorite pieces. Though it’s a photograph, April Snow Storm by Lonnie Schmidt resembles a hand-drawn illustration in an old storybook. The indistinct rendering of the subject matter evokes a pencil or charcoal sketch. This black and white inkjet print depicts a many-branched tree in the foreground and, over the rise of a hill, a cabin and tree in the background. Gently falling snow shrouds everything like a white lacy curtain. The white, nearly indistinguishable sky and ground lend a quiet, contemplative quality to the piece. 

In another winter scene, Fence by Valerie Snyder, a hilly landscape covered with snow reveals nothing except a black fence which runs from one side of the image to the other, receding from view and leading the eye over the hill at the right. In the deep blue sky float large puffy white clouds.  Fence achieves its calm, introspective, and peaceful sensibility via its sunny day, whereas the tranquility of April Snow Storm comes about through gently falling snow that mutes the landscape.

My third favorite, Motif #1 by Richard Glass, features a fiery sunset, the opposite of cold white winter light. In the foreground, a red cabin-like structure sits on a rocky foundation that protrudes into the water.  Red, blue and green boats float on the water in the background; behind them curves a stone jetty, creating an artificial inlet.  Despite the saturated colors of the cabin and boats, the sky commands most of the viewer’s attention. It’s by far the most dramatic element of this piece: Huge cumulus clouds reflect light from a bright orange sunset. The dark and stormy bellies of these clouds generate a kind of tension. Has the storm passed, or is it gathering itself for the onslaught?


St. Louis Camera Club Centennial Exhibition is on view at The Sheldon through Aug. 16.  The Sheldon is located at 3648 Washington Blvd. in St. Louis City.  Gallery hours are Tuesday noon – 8 p.m.; Wednesday through Friday noon – 5 p.m.; and Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information, call 314-533-9900 or visit