Local photographer Summers Moore rejects the idea that specialization produces the best art.
Although her work on display through next week at the Artist Mercantile in Glenwood Springs centers around horses, she approaches the subject through different styles and mediums, and doesn’t hesitate to branch out thematically.
Moore, 50, grew up outside of Chicago, went to boarding school on the east coast, and moved to the Roaring Fork Valley after she graduated in 1987. After years as a ski instructor, she shifted her focus to art as an opportunity to spend more time at home with her daughters Julia, now 17, and Fiona, now 14. She now practices photography both professionally and charitably and helps curate the Aspen Chapel Gallery.
She recently sat down with the Post Independent to talk about how dabbling enhances, rather than detracts, from her art.
Post Independent: How did you get into photography?
Summers Moore: My father was an amateur photographer. As my brother and I grew up, we picked up cameras. When I was a senior in high school, we went on an educational cruise to Greenland. The scenery is gorgeous, the light’s beautiful, you’re on a ship 20 hours a day. What do you do? You learn about photography. My brother’s technical, and I’m more visual, so we taught each other and just had the best time.
PI: When did you start to find a style of your own?
SM: I don’t think I have. The horses are therapy for me, but if you were to say I’m an equine photographer, I don’t know that I could go there. It all depends on the day, and where you are, and what you have in your hand.
PI: Is that how you started transitioning into other mediums?
SM: I just took over the kids’ art room one day when they were at school, and I started sketching off of a projection. Then it lead to this and that.
PI: Is that a different kind of creative outlet from what you were doing before?
SM: When I started out in photography, it was all about doing it perfectly and getting the picture right. Now it’s blur it out, move the camera, try this, draw on it, burn it in the microwave. It’s turning into this chaotic, fun, amazing journey.
PI: What do you think about the rise of digital photography?
SM: I’m all for technology, but while it’s made it better, it’s also cheapened it a bit. You’re not vested. With film, there’s so many ways you can screw it up, and if you don’t, you get rewarded. It’s so much more satisfying.
PI: How do you distinguish yourself in a world in which everyone’s taking pictures?
SM: I want people to walk by my image, keep going, think about it, and come back. How do you do that? I have no idea. I see something I like, and I’ll sit down and try to figure it out. Then I have it in my arsenal.
PI: What’s it like to be an artist in a small town?
SM: I love the community here. For me, it’s a great size. I can zoom off to New York, or be creative here at home. Curating forces me to look at things differently and meet different artists. There’s this core group of really great friends doing different workshops and trying different things.
PI: Any advice for folks thinking of getting into photography or art in general?
SM: The resources in this valley are huge. Start at CMC. Go to the galleries. Talk to the locals. Just look around.
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