By Martha Nodar

This photo of the three young ballerinas was taken by Gary Gruby at Cumberland Island.
This photo of the three young ballerinas was taken by Gary Gruby at Cumberland Island.

After using film for decades, Buckhead resident Chet Burgess said he has been experimenting with digital imaging.

It’s the kind of fresh idea that will characterize the 12th annual Atlanta Celebrates Photography (ACP), which will showcase the works of hundreds of artists next month at many local venues.

Amy Miller, ACP’s executive director said the festival provides the platform for photographers and venues around town, to engage the public in innovative ways to learn about and appreciate photography.

One of those venues is the Buckhead Public Library where Burgess and 18 of his colleagues, all members of the Atlanta Artists Center (AAC) are showing “The Atlanta Artists Center Sixth Photography Exhibit at the Buckhead Library.” AAC is a nonprofit artist-oriented association in Buckhead dedicated to growth in visual arts. Their exhibition will display Oct. 1-Nov. 4, with a reception scheduled Oct. 2.

Burgess’ “Light in the Forest” is one of the compositions included in the exhibition, which has the feel of watercolor paintings due to a special technique he uses.

“Burgess’ piece not only glows with the mystery of what a forest represents, but it also captures movement in glorious hues of green and yellow,” said Cheryl D’Amato, AAC/Buckhead Public Library exhibit coordinator.

D’Amato said, in addition to participating in the annual October festival, AAC members also show their work at the Buckhead Library during the rest of the year. She said she hopes to launch a fundraiser to install a professional hanging system at the library to protect its walls from damage.

“This will also present a more professional exhibit space for the Buckhead Library and the community,” D’Amato said.

Other venues participating in the festival include Pace Academy, where Gary Gruby is exhibiting “Unrehearsed Perfection” from Oct. 1-29, with a reception Oct. 8.

Gruby’s collection features a combination of both film and digital images capturing the allure of black and white. His intention was to surprise the viewers while adding an element of fun to picture taking.

Gruby’s efforts did not go unnoticed. Atlanta artist David Swann said Gruby’s piece portraying three ballerinas is a masterful variation of a candid camera bringing the viewer closer to the unsuspecting subject.

“Gruby has taken benevolent voyeurism to a whole new level,” Swann said. “Gruby captures a simple, yet, elegant intimacy rarely shared with the camera. His gift to the viewers is a composition with three young girls transforming their familiar surroundings into some mystical terrain where the chairs become thrones and the carpet, a vibrant stage.”

While many photographers such as Burgess and Gruby have embraced advanced technology, Sandy Springs resident Jane Kerr remains exclusively faithful to film.

Kerr’s “Seeing Red” is an exhibit playing tribute to Mississippi, her home state. It opens with a reception at the Episcopal Church of the Atonement in Sandy Springs Oct. 17. The show ends Nov. 11.

Reflecting upon the plethora of varied art showing in the annual event, Miller said:

“Our festival is designed to have something for everyone.”

For more information about ACP and the festival, including opening receptions around town visit: