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Come experience new works from spirited local artists and help support our vital art community.

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Phone: (530) 265-9463

January - February Exhibit

"The Art of Nature, Along the Cascade Canal"
By Tom Quinn

Photography on metal, canvas, and archival paper

Showing at the Nevada City Winery Gallery

January 19th – February 19th

Opening Reception

Friday, January 20th from 5:00–7:00 PM

About the Show
Fine Art Photographer Tom Quinn’s, “The Art of Nature, Along the Cascade Canal" has a dynamic blend of the unexpected viewpoint and a subtle, yet keen and captivating perception of what occurs organically in nature.

In Quinn’s capable camera-in-hand approach, a simple single leaf or a pattern on ice, becomes something the viewer can revel in and see the shared artistry between Nature and Photographer.
Artist Statement
Photographer Tom Quinn talks about his show, “The Art of Nature, Along the Cascade Canal" at the Nevada City Winery Gallery.
As much as I enjoy traveling and photographing grand landscapes, I increasingly find satisfaction in seeking out overlooked beauty close to home; in my case, that being primarily along the Cascade Canal on Banner Mountain above Nevada City, CA. I am particularly fascinated exploring the art of nature, often with a focus on nature as an abstract artist.
This pursuit also has me questioning the nature of art, especially as applied to photography. Exactly what makes a photograph transcend a simple capture of a pretty or unusual scene into the world of “art”? The photographs I seek are primarily as found in nature, with possible adjustment to either re-create the scene as my eye saw it, but the camera failed to capture, or in some cases to enhance the scene to the potential it may have had under different lighting conditions. 
I also occasionally produce images by intentionally moving the camera during a long exposure. This process, called ICM (Intentional Camera Movement), is not the result of digital manipulation but rather an “in-camera” photographic technique which can result in striking, somewhat abstract images.  
For this show, I have chosen to limit myself to photographs taken within a short walk of my home above Nevada City. The core of the show is a series of images of ice. Each has been printed on metal to highlight the intricate details of the complex crystalline ice patterns. The wide array of colors within the series are generally “as-seen” and vary depending upon the location of the ice, the degree to which red clay soils or other sediments are contained within the ice, the reflections from adjacent trees and shrubs, and the angle of the sun. The results are truly mind-boggling. Nature is an abstract artist.
To compliment the abstract ice photographs, I have included a few ICM images taken along the Cascade Canal and printed on canvas. The show also includes abstract reflections, local flora, and a black and white series in which leaves appear to take on anthropomorphic (human) characteristics. 
Thank you for taking the time to explore “The Art of Nature” with me.  
About the Artist
Tom Quinn grew up in urban northern New Jersey, which perhaps set the stage for his finding beauty in smaller spaces, in oddities, in the abstract, and in less-than-perfect environmental conditions. An undergraduate photography class exposed Quinn to the subtleties of black and white film processing, and the notion of photography as an art form. Upon moving to the western U.S. for graduate school, and to pursue a career in public land management, new horizons for photography opened for him. 
While working and living in numerous, diverse, and spectacular national forest locations, Quinn spent many years capturing the beauty and grandeur of our country’s landscapes with an old Canon SLR camera. Given that film and processing were expensive, Quinn notes that, “Each release of the shutter was carefully considered. I find this is a habit I have yet to break, for better or worse.” Pointing out that he was a bit of a “late adopter” to digital photography, Quinn now fully embraces the opportunities it offers. Nature photography remains the primary focus of Quinn’s work, but he has also embraced the challenges presented by other photographic genres.  
Quinn recently retired from the U.S. Forest Service after a 35-year career, and now enjoys more time to travel and to photograph the world. Yet he observed that he increasingly finds value in time close to home, “simply walking with a camera, with eyes wide open; often looking for those small, overlooked beauties that nature provides.” 
Quinn is a strong advocate for the philosophy of Dorothea Lange, a major figure in twentieth century photography, who suggested that, “A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” This mantra has sometimes led Quinn on walks which are not entirely aerobic, often to the frustration of his Labrador Retriever.
Submissions to: Andrea Baruch at

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