Colors of life: Bethel Park photographer’s works exhibited at St. Clair Hospital | Life & Culture

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Colors of life: Bethel Park photographer’s works exhibited at St. Clair Hospital | Life & Culture

A framed metal print that collects dust on the floor of Gregory Schmidt’s Bethel Park home finally found the stage.

“This will be my first … public show,” said a tall, skinny photographer, drinking coffee outside a local store on a recent weekday morning. .. “I’ve been building a collection of printed matter for years. I was just looking for a venue, an opportunity.”

Schmidt found an opportunity to showcase his collection, Colors of Life, from July 1st to August 31st at Gallery 1 at St. Clair Hospital. The solo exhibition will take the audience to another dreamlike world and bring them closer to the local nature. Most importantly, share Schmidt’s view of this beautiful sphere with strangers.

“When I started moving people to think of (photographs) as art, I think it’s the most fulfilling,” he said.

Schmidt fell in love with the art form of photography when he picked up his first camera decades ago. He enrolled in the Pittsburgh Art Institute, where he studied photographic theory and processed black-and-white film in the darkroom. In the first semester of the program, his then-wife became pregnant and Schmidt left school to raise his job and family.

“It was all so expensive that I cleaned up the camera. I hung it for 30 years,” he said.

Schmidt moved to the east coast and went home again. Years have passed. It pulled him away from his film camera for decades. And a new technology, the whisper of digital photography, reached his ears.

“I kept reading about the quality of this digital SLR. I finally decided, hey, go for it. So I bought a beginner’s camera with a kit lens,” Schmidt said. Tells. “I started taking pictures.”

Schmidt towed the camera, strolling around the neighborhood with Jade in Great Dane and taking pictures of the flowers.

“It’s all automatic. I didn’t even know what to use,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve taken a picture of a bee with some kind of flower and posted it on Facebook. Someone said it looks like National Geographic.”

Schmidt became humble and encouraged. He started uploading his work to National Geographic’s Your Shot. This is an now obsolete website where amateur and professional photographers share images and comment on each other’s photos in the same way.

“I had two, but in reality I call them the editor’s notes,” he said. “But National Geographic has changed the format. It’s all on Instagram. You know, everything is on Instagram. Instagram isn’t very good.”

What he is good at is capturing beauty. Schmidt’s work includes a vast landscape of Iceland (photos of his Kiss the Sky series featuring the moody Westfjords beneath the swelling clouds will be on display in Gallery 1). Stunning portraits of plants and animals. A dazzling summary of nature taken in Arizona.

“The lower Antelope Canyon is basically a cave tunnel carved from water,” Schmidt said with his hand drawing the scene in the air. “It’s all through the red rocks. You get all these kinds of mixed sediments, rock colors, to create such a very nice abstract image.”

The still life of Schmidt, inspired by Pink Floyd’s “Insanity” album cover, is also amazing.

“The front is a prism of light that separates colors. I wondered what would happen if I struck the prism with a laser.” I just played with a long exposure in the pyramid, “says Schmidt. “I was excited about what they were like.”

The resulting image is a spectacular feast. Schmidt laser-paints wine glasses and roses to create glossy images that are more digitally rendered than photographs. Schmidt balances a vibrant image with a burst of absurdity in pop art. His series, I Love Eggs, is amazingly fun.

Laser paintings and Surrealist works, along with his landscape and nature photography, show the scope of Schmidt both artistically and emotionally.

“I take pictures for my joy at first, but I really want to share the vision of these things with people,” Schmidt said.

People have Schmidt’s vision, such as still lifes and laser paintings, spectacular renditions of Icelandic landscapes, ladybug relaxing on grass leaves, red and red rocks in Arizona, in a gallery in a specialized building at St. Clair Hospital. 1 can be enjoyed during normal business hours.

“This is a great place,” said Melissa Marion, Head of Development and Government Relations at St. Clair Hospital. “Gallery 1 … is easily accessible. I took watercolors, canvas and lots of pictures. I think people really appreciate it.”

Marion said visitors can park for up to an hour free of charge in the visitor garage of St. Clair Hospital and admission to the gallery is free.

“Art is a cure, whether it’s for artists or for those who are looking at items in Gallery 1,” Marion said. “It can provide an exit or bring a smile to someone’s face.”

All of Gallery 1’s art is for sale and 20% of the proceeds will be donated to the St. Clair Hospital Foundation.

“It’s also a great way to collect extra money,” Marion said.

Both the Foundation (cancer survivor Schmidt has requested that the funds raised through his art sales be donated to the oncology unit) and the artist who devotes his heart and soul to the work exhibited in Gallery 1. Money for. There is a metal print on the wall of the gallery, sharing his inspiration and vision with the larger Pittsburgh area.

“Music is a big part of what I’m inspired by. It’s more than music, more than movies … life. I’m trying to capture something special in everything I see.” Schmidt thought. “I always wanted to show (my picture). I’m very excited.”

View Schmidt’s image in Gallery 1 or visit https://www.facebook.com/gregory.schmidt.798.

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