A new exhibit titled, “50/50: Of Color and Black & White,” by local artist Bill Chardon, opens at the Leep Art Gallery on October 5 at the Postma Center on the Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services campus in Grand Rapids.
The exhibit works will reflect a broad range of interests from the artist’s last 10 years. In that sense, it is a retrospective, with the earliest photographic works being “Cattle Guard” and “Andrew’s Tree,” and more recent works such as “Enduring,” and “Jeckyll #1”.
“While reviewing the images I’ve chosen I realized that there are an almost equal number of color and black and white photographs. It wasn’t intentional, but is reflective of my work,” says artist Bill Chardon. “The juxtaposition of colors has always intrigued me; and I find a well-conceived black and white image just as compelling for the juxtaposition of values. For me, there is no judging which is more worthy. There is only recognition that they can both render a compelling story.”
Chardon grew up in Northern New Jersey about 20 miles west of Manhattan. In the 1960s, this area was small-town, somewhat rural America, with woods and streams to explore, and he developed a deep connection and appreciation for the natural world. After high school he attended Calvin College where he graduated with a BA in Art, and Kendall College of Art and Design with a BFA in Advertising Design. For almost 40 years, graphic design has been his profession.
“A judges statement for a show I participated in said that an image should have a ‘hook’; something that pulls the viewer in. This description had an impact on me; and since then I have been more conscious of what that ‘hook’ may be in a particular image,” says Charon. “Whatever the ‘hook’ is in a particular photograph, my ultimate goal as a photographer is to engage you.”
Chardon’s work has been exhibited in a number of venues in the Midwest and has received special recognition from B&W Magazine, The Muskegon Museum of Art, and Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts. He has been a participant in ArtPrize for the past five years with this year’s exhibit at the Women’s City Club.
The Pine Rest Leep Art Gallery exhibit will be on display at the Postma Center located at 300 68th Street, SE, Grand Rapids, Mich., from October 5 until December 29, 2017. The Leep Art Gallery is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 616.222.4530 or go to www.pinerest.org/events.