Picture This

The Hub on Canal Street in New Smyrna Beach has taken over the storefront at 120 Canal St. and opened a fine art photography gallery.

The Hub on Canal Street in New Smyrna has expanded its footprint, taking over the storefront at 120 Canal and transforming it into a fine art photography gallery.

For those of us not artistically inclined, the words fine art photography may seem a little hoity-toity, but a trip to the gallery dismisses that attitude.

Although some photographers may still prefer to shoot in black and white and develop their film in a dark room, many photographers today choose the digital format to capture their subjects. Some prefer not to alter their images while others build on their photographs using computer-aided design techniques.

The essence of fine art photography is all about the artist. It is not capturing what the camera sees, but rather, capturing what the photographer sees and feels.

The current exhibit by Gwen Hughes is a great illustration of this. The photographs on display are from her travels through India and Pakistan. They show incredible detail, in both color and black and white. The expressions captured on the faces of children, parents, workers and others she came across in North India and Kashmir make it hard to look away.

Ms. Hughes lives in New Smyrna Beach and it was a chance meeting with one of The Hub board members that led to her exhibit at the gallery. Betty Turco, director of gallery operations for The Hub, said it’s just another example of the number of incredibly creative people who live and visit here and the tremendous impact their art has on building community and fostering economic opportunity.

For locals who soak up The Hub on a regular basis, it’s a favorite spot to come enjoy the latest exhibits, take a class, enjoy some music or buy a unique piece of handmade jewelry or a painting that draws you in.

The founders of The Hub set out to create a central core of artists who would make, showcase and teach art of all types in a shared space. They hoped from there it would expand in many directions as outreach into the community.

And boy has it. The outreach programs continue to evolve to touch many in the community. Through its Veterans in Arts program, The Hub offers free music lessons and guitars to veterans. There are also art classes for people with early-stage Alzheimer’s and dementia. And students of all ages are learning various art forms as well as the business side of marketing artwork and how art permeates the business world from graphics to fashion.

Today more than 70 artists are affiliated with The Hub, either renting space there, teaching classes or giving demonstrations. There are several painters whose work is as varied as the artists themselves. But not all the artists make things to hang on walls. There are jewelry designers, woodworkers and even a shoe maker. One artist makes guitars; another makes brooms. There are 25 studios at The Hub so you are sure to come across an artist at work.

Ms. Turco said the response to the new fine art photography gallery has been positive. Two photographers have already moved their studios into the space so there is plenty to see beyond the exhibit itself. The gallery is flooded with natural light and its freshly painted walls and high ceilings make for a very inviting space. Whether just popping in for a look or looking for something to purchase, it’s a wonderful way to spend an hour or so. The Hub is just two doors up so people can plan to spend the better part of a morning or afternoon immersed in all types of art.

The Hub is looking for photographers to exhibit their work in the new gallery. Local photographers interested in discussing an exhibition can stop by The Hub or contact Ms. Turco.

The current exhibit will run through April 28. Ms. Hughes’ photography will again be featured May 4-26 in her exhibition, Driven to Abstraction. She will be at the gallery for an artist talk at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, to discuss the photographs and answer questions. The event is free and open to the public.

The Hub and the photography gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

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