The Photo Fence offers 'joy and happiness' with debut exhibit

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Unveiled Oct. 20, The Photo Fence is bringing "joy and happiness" to downtown Cartersville.

"Our goal was to get it installed by the [Cartersville] Bluegrass [& Folk] Festival — we made it," said Lynn Henderson, project coordinator for The Photo Fence. "We stood back and realized it had turned out better than we could’ve hoped for. Many fun comments have been received from the public and merchants about the fun it brings to downtown.

"Approximately 100 amateur and serious photographers from Bartow County and many neighboring communities submitted 283 entries. That’s excellent for first time out of the shoot — pun."

Featuring the theme Joy and Happiness, the arts initiative's inaugural exhibit is showcasing 24 images that were selected by three judges. The photographs are going to be displayed along the fence at Founders Oak Plaza through January 2019.

"In successful downtowns across America, some of the most interesting projects are those that were initiated by a passionate individual or group of citizens," Cartersville Downtown Development Authority Director Lillie Read said. "Consequently, with public art being one of our target project areas for downtown, the DDA was happy to help Lynn Henderson and her group of local photography enthusiasts to bring this project to the district.

"… There is a wide range of subjects, which I think speaks to the many ways in which people experience 'joy and happiness' in day-to-day life. As a dog lover, one of my favorite pictures is the dog with the box of [treats]; I also really like the angel bride picture, plus all of the great pictures of people and their loved ones. It’s hard to choose a favorite, honestly."

Along with viewing the images in person, Henderson encourages area residents to vote for their favorite photograph online by visiting the Cartersville DDA's website, downtowncartersville.org, then opening the "Art" tab. The winner of the People's Choice Award will be announced in mid-December.

"The purpose [of The Photo Fence] fits with the new effort of a Public Arts Project for Cartersville and Bartow," Henderson said. "These projects make the community more aware of the various arts. Photography is definitely art and is becoming more so with the available software for developing creativity. I did not offer to coordinate this project in my role as president of the Booth Photography Guild; I volunteered because I believe in photography and want to inspire the community to embrace it as an art form and to encourage more people to express themselves with their photography.  Cellphones and iPads have made quality photography available to everyone.

"… The goal is to hang three exhibitions a year. Occasionally, we will select two [to] three professional photographers to showcase their unusual work and to show what is possible with photography in this digital world."