Lets See What You See Captures an Array of Meaningful Photos

One of the many displays of cell phone photography at the exhibit.

It’s amazing what we capture with our cell phone cameras each and every day. Sometimes on purpose and sometimes we don’t realize just how meaningful some of the images we capture are. The Let’s See What You See cell phone photography exhibit showed just how meaningful a lot of our cell phone images are at their opening reception in Duluth on Friday, July 13. The reception was hosted by the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) in the Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center.

This whole idea of getting the public involved with art through their phones came from photographer and juror for the photos, Vern Northrup. Northrup enjoys using his cell phone to take photos while on walks. Northrup then decided this would be a great idea for an art exhibit for the community.

Let’s See What You See accepted submissions of photos from the public until June 8 this year. The jurors then voted and decided who best represented the Let’s See What You See moto: “resilience in the face of climate change.”

The winning photos of the Let’s See What You See photography exhibit.

Hundreds of photos were printed and mounted because of the Art Project grant AICHO received from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council. These photos covered the brick walls spanning all around the gallery space. The images presented a range of views, surroundings, and cultures. All images that we take in our daily lives both the silly and spontaneous. There were photos of wildlife like deer and birds, as well as some comical photos like the photo of a toy dinosaur prowling around the tall grass of someone’s lawn.

Jurors for the event decided on a first, second, and third place winner with cash prizes. They also chose three honorable mentions.

The third place winner was Kristin Mckibbage whose image was taken while on a walk with a group of people. She said she hadn’t been on a walk in that type of scenery in a while so she decided to take a photo. The second place winner, Cheryl VanGuilder, told the crowd she took her image of the Superior oil refinery explosion while she was stuck in traffic.  Finally, the first place winner, Jara Mclarren took her photo in Guatemala. The photo featured a dirty plastic bottle on a beautiful beach with waves crashing in the background.

Jara Mclarren’s photo for the exhibit which was awarded first place.

“It reminded me of Lake Superior and other lakes and oceans around the world and the issue with plastic,” said Mclarren.

The images displayed at Let’s See What You See all had a resonating vision in them, we all see these things whether good or bad, they’re in our lives and some of us feel impacted enough to take a photo.

The event was overall very supportive of the experienced photographers and the rookies. The artists were all treated as equals no matter their level of experience. This comradery is truly what made the exhibit a big success.