DENVER — It’s the calm before the storm at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center in Denver. The wood floor of the gallery is populated by a small group of photographers seeing their pictures hanging in the light on clean white walls for the first time.
The center’s new exhibit features the work of Amy Forestieri, Donald M. Gardner, Elane Graves, Gregory Hall, and Chuck Rasco. In addition to sharing space on the gallery walls, these people share another trait. They’re all military veterans.
The Exhibit, Personal Vision: Projects by Veterans, is the result of CPAC’s second Veterans Workshop Series.
The center’s instructors worked with these five artists to help them tell stories with their photographs. Some were seasoned photographers, and others had been shooting for less than a year when they started the free five-month workshop.
Seeing the starlit jeeps, the black and white images from a man’s last days of life, a seasoned pilot teaching her young student, candid photos framed by windows, and delicate teacups, it becomes evident that these people know what they’re doing with a camera.
As she stands in front of her own display, Air Force veteran Amy Forestieri's pride in her work is evident.
“I thought I’d love to do my first project on something I’m passionate about,” she said.
She documented the Jesus on Colfax Ministries organization through a series of black and white photographs. The experience changed her life not only as a photographer but as a woman who served her country.
“There are a lot of things that veterans want to express but can't share with words, and through photography, you can communicate a whole different way.”
Projects by Veterans opens to the public on Saturday, Jan. 12.