Rick Maitri’s “Ten Mile Radius” photography exhibit is now on display in the Fletcher Gallery in Godbey Hall at New River Community College in Dublin. A reception with the photographer will be held Wednesday, March 15 from noon to 2 p.m.
The majority of Maitri’s exhibit will be local images. Maitri says he loves exploring backroads and backyards of our region with a camera and a sense of awe.
A native of the New River Valley, the 52-year old has been toting a sketchpad or camera since he was a child. His middle and high school years saw Maitri creating graphics for school yearbooks, winning an award for watercolor and designing an embroidered patch that was selected to represent his 1983 graduating high school class.
During his senior year at Christiansburg High School, Maitri says he was two days from enlisting in the Navy when he was impressed by a presentation from an Art Institute representative. Borrowing his teacher’s phone, Maitri called his mother to announce that his plans changed from the military to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (AIP). While pursuing a degree in visual communications at AIP, Maitri discovered his passion for night-time and low-light photography and earned his first paying job at Duquesne University with surveillance photography.
After graduating from AIP, Maitri worked at advertising agencies before entering his current graphics position at New River Community College in 1986.
Maitri has provided graphic and photographic support for charities, municipalities and businesses, including Habitat for Humanity, the City of Radford, Pulaski Main Street project and the Community Foundation of the New River Valley. His work has been featured in Corel magazine and he won an award from Virginia Wildlife magazine.
Landscape photography has always been and continues to be his favorite theme because as Maitri says, “It’s not just photography, it’s spiritual. Creativity comes from two places, pain and inspiration. Our conditions are reflected in our interpretation/recording of nature. The shadow is our internal source of creation while, if we stop to look, we are given the gift of beauty to record for everyone to enjoy.
Landscape photography has always been and continues to be his favorite theme because as Maitri says, “It’s not just photography, it’s spiritual. Creativity comes from two places, pain and inspiration. Our conditions are reflected in our interpretation/recording of nature. The shadow is our internal source of creation while, if we stop to look, we are given the gift of beauty to record for everyone to enjoy.”
“Stop to look” has deep meaning for Maitri because as he was taking early morning photos at Myrtle Beach, a man stopped and asked what he was photographing. Maitri replied, “Look at the orange sky reflecting off the wet sand.” The passerby thought for a moment and said, “I’ve lived here all my life and I never stopped to look.”
Maitri adds, “Some of my best photos were taken when I headed back to my car and looked behind me to find the most awesome image of the day. I often find when I go looking for a photograph, it can be technically good, but doesn’t have soul. You have to be humble and open to inspiration.”
Maitri relates that he has too many influences to narrow them down to one or two. He says, “Of course, I admire the greats such as Ansel Adams and Alfred Stieglitz. Eric Meola captures uncontrived images, so colorful and graphically simple. Who can compare to Annie Leibowitz when it comes to portraits of people in their context? Jimmy Mcintyre is doing beautiful work in landscape photography and post processing, while I envy my prolific friends, Eric Brady, Angela Kinzie, So Pyay Win and Maria Klejner. David Hobby who has the blog ‘Strobist’ is a master of SpeedLight photography and this is a method I find lots of fun and I want to dive into. Furthermore, when I see any photo that I wish I had taken, I consider that an influence. People grow into the art with practice and anyone can do it. Students quickly becomes masters. There should not be any ego about it, just gratitude.”
The exhibit will be on display through Monday, May 15.
— Submitted by Kelly Kaiser