[Text by Dave Willard]
[Photos by Dave Willard and Diane Richter]
On Saturday, November 3rd, 189 people gathered in the Blast Furnace Room of ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for SLIDELUCK Lehigh Valley II. Slideluck was part of the third annual Olympus InVision Photo Festival and Lehigh Valley Photography Month, presented by ArtsQuest under the direction of Janice Lipzin, Director of Visual Arts & Education.
The work of aspiring and professional photographers from throughout the region was showcased alongside the work of world-class photographers. SLIDELUCK Lehigh Valley II featured the work of 14 photographers from the Lehigh Valley, five Olympus Visionary professionals, and one international artist whose work has been shown at other Slidelucks. Olympus, one of the world’s top camera manufacturers, became the title sponsor of the festival this year. Olympus Imaging America Inc. has its headquarters in the Lehigh Valley and a number of Olympus executives were in attendance that evening.
A three-person local curating team made the selections for Slideluck Lehigh Valley II from over 40 entries. The work ranged from sports and fashion photography to photojournalism and personal collections, creating a fast-paced and varied program.
The event also featured the premiere of a new work of art created by Vicki DaSilva, the renowned light graffiti artist from Allentown. DaSilva, a pioneer in the light graffiti medium, unveiled a brand-new work created specifically for InVision. DaSilva has exhibited around the world and was recently named the solo grand-prize winner of Artists Wanted’s global competition, “Art Takes Times Square!,” which resulted in her work being featured on the digital screens of Times Square in July.
Several well-known photographers who were presenters at the Olympus InVision Photo Festival also attended Slideluck. These included Zoe Strauss, a member of Magnum Photos who had a ten-year retrospective of her work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art earlier this year, and Jay Dickman, a National Geographic photographer and a long-time Olympus Visionary.
Guests were not required to bring a dish to share because food and refreshments were provided by the catering service at ArtsQuest Center. Everyone enjoyed tasting Brooklyn Lager and Brooklyn East India Pale Ale, generously provided by Brooklyn Brewery. The venue itself added to the visual impact of the evening. ArtsQuest Center overlooks the iconic Blast Furnace of the former Bethlehem Steel Corporation. The site has been recently redeveloped as SteelStacks and reborn as a community center for music and art.
Slideluck Lehigh Valley II was scheduled to end at 10 p.m., but many guests were still on hand at 11 p.m. when lights flashed to close the room for the evening. It was a sign of how much everyone enjoyed the event – too bad it had to end! (By the end of the night, the Slideluck team was ready for a good night’s sleep!)
We want to give a big shout-out to Casey Kelbaugh and the Slideluck organization for this great concept, and especially to Lila Allen, who helped us every step of the way. Lila made it easy and fun to produce the show. The Lehigh Valley photographic community will be looking forward to Slideluck III as part of next year’s Olympus InVision Photo Festival.