"Picture My Weekend" a huge success

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"Picture My Weekend" a huge success

August 11, 2009

PMW group photo
Participants for the Northwestern Creativity Project’s second “Picture My Weekend” pose for a group photograph. Participants enjoyed a two-day event including a photography show with live entertainment featuring the Max Ridgway Trio and a day full of roundtable discussions.

Photography enthusiasts stopped by the Runnymede Hotel in downtown Alva to view more than 140 photos on display for the Northwestern Creativity Project’s second “Picture My Weekend” event on July 31. On Aug. 1, 56 participants actively discussed photography in the roundtable discussion portion of “Picture My Weekend.”

Participants arrived from many different Oklahoma cities including Alva, Bixby, Blackwell, Buffalo, Cherokee, Dacoma, Enid, Freedom, Guthrie, Helena, Lamont, Medford, Oklahoma City, Perry, Stillwater, Vici, Waynoka and Woodward. Kansas also was represented with participants traveling from Kiowa and Medicine Lodge.

“Participants ranged in age from elementary school through senior citizen,” said Rod Murrow, chairman and associate dean of graduate studies. “Our sessions included information for photographers at all skill levels, from the beginner through the advanced amateur.”

Facilitators for the event spoke and gave suggestions at round-table discussions throughout the day. These facilitators brought their expertise from different areas of the state. Facilitators for the event included Kayte Anton of Enid, Jim Apel of Guthrie, Cody Dopps of Bixby, Teresa James of Vici, Ken Kelsey of Ringwood, Korina Schneider of Medford, and Becky McCray and Valarie Case, both of Alva.

“Everyone who participated had a chance to join the conversation,” McCray said. “Many of the sessions were conversational, and we all could ask our questions or share our experiences.”

“Most of the photographs were taken within just a couple of blocks of the Runnymede, and I had failed to see about 90 percent of what the students had seen,” Apel said. “It was a great reminder to me of how unique–and important–each individual's viewpoint is.”

Participants moved over to the Northwestern Amphitheatre for the slideshow, which included photos from the day’s journey. Participants were asked to take three photos, one of which had to be a door or their interpretation of a door.

“The whole notion behind the door photo is that photographers look at life through their own unique ‘lens,’” Murrow said. “There is no single, correct way to take a photograph of any given subject. A variety of doors and the creative interpretation of the word “door” are evident in the video.”

“My favorite aspect of the weekend had to be the slide show,” Apel said. “It amazed me, yet again, the vision that each student brought to the assignment.”

The slide show prepared for the finale of “Picture My Weekend” can be viewed at www.nwosu.edu/picture-my-weekend.

Kay Decker, professor of psychology and committee member, and Kelsey gave a presentation on “Using Our Talents to Increase Awareness of Cultural Heritage and Our History.” They expressed the importance photography has on preserving our history and cultural heritage.

“I hope the public gains a new respect for photography as it pertains to the community and preserving history,” Schneider said.

“Picture My Weekend” is an annual event that will continue to bring the photographic arts to Alva and northwestern Oklahoma.

“I hope that everyone who attended a session was able to take at least one lesson learned home with them by the end of the day,” Case said. “I think everyone had a good time, and I hope to see even more participants next year. We also are always looking for additional photographers who would like to volunteer their knowledge and expertise to help others during the workshop.”

To make a donation to help fund next year’s event or to ask questions regarding the Northwestern Creativity Project or how to help next year, please contact Murrow at (580) 327-8589 or rcmurrow@nwosu.edu or visit www.nwosu.edu/picture-my-weekend.