By Randi Bjornstad
The Karin Clarke Gallery was packed Saturday evening for the two-hour pop-up photography show and reception called “Eugene: From Holga with Love.”
The display included 21 photographs, 20 by various members of the community, ranging from students and teachers to local business owners and even a couple of public officials, and one by Don Dexter, the local dentist and photography buff who put the whole idea together.
The title comes from the name of a quirky, cheap little film camera that was made in China starting in the early 1980s and which became something of a cult item because of its tendencies to produce unexpected results caused by imprecise winding, not-quite-lightproof bodies and frequent double exposures.
Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy was one of the photographers who received took a turn receiving a Holga loaded with film from Dexter and shooting 12 images before returning the camera to him.
That meant that none of the “shooters” had any idea which of their pictures they would see on the wall, because after the Dot Dotson photo shop processed the film, Dexter selected an image from each participant’s negatives and had them printed.
During the two-hour show, Piercy, who is leaving office in a few weeks after serving three four-year terms as mayor, said the experience had given her a whole new way of looking at the city where she has lived for many years.
Her picture showed a group of young children posing for the camera, shot in black-and-white like all but four of the photos in the show.
One of the color pictures belonged to student Raven Muir, who said she mostly happened upon the makings of her pleasingly enigmatic still-life arrangement that incorporated a low pot of dahlia blossoms, a bunch of leaves and a shiny silver costume crown.
“The flowers were already there, and so were some of the (brown) leaves around them, and I happened to have the crown with me, so I put it on top and then added up some green leaves,” Muir said. “Then I took the picture.”
Part of the reason for Dexter’s pop-up gallery show was to offer all of the pictures for sale through a silent auction to benefit several local nonprofit agencies.
Gallery owner Karin Clarke said she believed all the pictures were sold and that about $1,000 was raised, to be divided among five groups: Luvable Dog Rescue, FOOD for Lane County, Oregon Supported Living Program, Womenspace and the Lane Arts Council.