I attended an event yesterday called “Dual Visions: Art Through Different Eyes.” It’s an annual show sponsored by the Artisans Village, an art gallery and studio in the city where I live. Preparation for the event starts months ahead of time, when photographers bring in their best photos, and other artists – painters, mainly – come in to select a photo and then recreate it. The artwork is then displayed, with photos and paintings next to each other. The result is always breathtaking.

Several friends and I went to the Grand Opening of the exhibit, where attendees also vote for the People’s Choice Award – in both categories, photo and painting – which is announced later in the evening. I knew it was going to be an incredible show, as well as a difficult choice for me, when I already had selected several of my “finalists” before I was even halfway down the first wall of artwork.

I’ve attended several “Dual Visions” displays in the last few years, and am always amazed not only at the quality of the work, but at the interpretation of the photos that the painters instill in their work. Some of them reproduce the photo so realistically and precisely that if you step back, it can be hard to tell which is the photograph and which is the painting. Others use the photos as their starting point, recreating them in a variety of artistic styles, or with exaggerated or complimentary colors.

One of the things I enjoy most while walking through the exhibit is taking in not only the look of the artwork, but the feel of it. Some of it is gentle and soothing, some is vibrant and striking, and some is hypnotic.

I also love talking with my friends, after we’ve turned in our own choices for our favorites, to compare notes, sharing with each other which photos and paintings we voted for and why we selected them. As we talk, I see each photo and painting in yet another light, and through the eyes of someone else – which is like dual vision all over again.

I find it interesting and enlightening that so many people can look at the same object and see different things in it. And I’m no longer talking just about artwork. The same applies to ideas, philosophies, books, and buildings.

I enjoy going to art shows, especially ones like Dual Visions. And especially in these polarized times we’re living in right now, when so many people have a “my way or the  highway” mentality, this would be a wonderful way to remind  everyone that there’s always more than one way of looking at things.

At least, that’s how I see it.

September 15, 2023
©Betty Liedtke, 2023

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