Photography exhibit features River Arts District graffiti

March 8, 2013

On March 1, RiverLink unveiled a new photography exhibit on the ground floor of in the Warehouse Studios building at 170 Lyman Street. 

The exhibit, Some Call It Art Some Call It Graffiti, features photographs that show the graffiti found around the River Arts District, much of it was located in the old ice house on Riverside Drive. The images were donated to RiverLink courtesy of Peter Henriksen, a retired professor of physics from The University of Akron.

The vivid photographs come off of the page and at times it is hard to believe many of the images are even real. These images become even more amazing when Henriksen explains many of the photos were taken without any light source, relying instead on time exposure and shutter speed.

Henriksen described the complicated process, “The Ice House Graffiti images involved a two-step process using a digital camera mounted on a tripod. The first step was to make three bracketed exposures of the same view at different shutter speeds.”

“The camera was then rotated about a vertical axis so that the next view overlapped the previous view by 50%, and three exposures were again made. This process was repeated five times. Then each of the three-bracketed exposures was blended together using computer software to create one image having a high dynamic range (HDR) that approximates human vision. The result of this process was to have five overlapping HDR images. A different computer program the overlaid these five images so the overlapping portions matched. The software then used a process that produced one single, panoramic image. The result was a single panoramic image made from 15 different images.”

While some may see the graffiti as nothing more than vandalism on historic architecture, Henriksen offered an optimistic perspective. “Much of the graffiti was beautiful and could be considered a contemporary art form. Graffiti usually comes in two classifications–art and vandalism, but both usually carry a message.” He added,  “Of the vandalistic Ice House Graffiti, I particularly like the statement, ‘You are not your car’.”

The photography exhibit will be on display through April 2013. The RiverLink offices are open to the public weekdays 8:00a.m.-5:00p.m.  Anyone interested in purchasing a print copy of the photography should contact Karen Cragnolin at 828-252-8474 ext. 10.