MERIDEN — Throughout March, Gallery 53 is presenting the in-person and online exhibit, “Lasting Impressions: 2021 Exhibit,” which includes work from the Women Photographers of Connecticut group.
The Women Photographers of Connecticut is a Facebook group that was started in 2015 by Geneva Renegar, of Waterford.
“I wanted to create a group that was supportive and that would be supportive to women, whether they were beginners, amateurs or professional photographers,” Renegar said. “I spent about $500 on initial advertising on Facebook to get ads to direct people to the group.”
Renegar said that for awhile she was the only person in the group, but when people joined, she was “so excited.” Now, the group has over 1,600 members.
Kathleen Kuehl Ramos, a Waterbury resident and co-administrator of the Facebook group, contacted Gallery 53.
“She approached them with our group saying, ‘We have about at that time 1,600 women and we’d like to exhibit in your gallery and the photographs are really good, would you be interested?’” Renegar said.
This is the second time the group has exhibited at Gallery 53, located at 53 Colony St. There are 32 pieces in the exhibit. All but one is available for sale.
“Anybody that comes in and views the work, they view it on the integrity of each piece,” said Sandy Goodyear, Gallery 53 director. “… It’s really good art.”
Rose Devlin, Gallery 53 volunteer, is also a member of the Women Photographers of Connecticut group.
“I love seeing the posts of the photos,” Devlin said. “They do weekly challenges, different themes and it’s really amazing the work that you’ll see from their members.”
Devlin said part of Gallery 53’s purpose is to help publicize other artists’ work.
“When groups and artists come to us to exhibit, we think part of our role is to support them and publicize their work,” Devlin said. “We like to have all of their pieces up on our website and promote it through our social media.”
Renegar hopes the exhibit recognizes the creativity and talent of the group’s photographers.
“We have everything from portrait photographers to landscape photographers and a lot of the photography is of local interest to Connecticut,” Renegar said. “I think it showcases the beauty of the natural resources of the state and the talent of the group.”
Since March is Women’s History Month, Goodyear said the exhibit is also celebrating women’s work.
“At one time, men were the photographers, it was more of a male profession and women just took snapshots of their children,” Goodyear said. “These are quality pieces that have enough integrity to stand on their own.”