Portrait Gallery: Mickey Shanabarger
A childhood fascination with chemistry led artist Mickey Shanabarger to his lifelong interest in photography.
Shanabarger, 73, started taking photographs when he was a teenager because the process of developing film involved chemicals and intrigued him.
From that point, the Fruita man invested countless hours and countless dollars in dark rooms, on equipment and on travels to capture people, places and things on film.
He occasionally uses digital cameras, but he loves film.
“This forces you to slow down,” Shanabarger said showing off his wooden camera. Using film prohibits a photographer from seeing the image until it’s developed. He has a dark room in his home.
A sample of Shanabarger’s work will be on display during The Art Center Members’ Exhibit 2013 that opens Friday, Feb. 1, and continues through Feb. 23.
An opening reception for the exhibit, the largest community exhibit of the year, will be from 7–9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, with a wine bar and hors d’oeuvres. Celebrity bartenders will be Dave Davis, Diana Woods and Don Meyers.
Shanabarger and his wife joined The Art Center shortly after moving to Grand Junction in 2006.
“I liked the open space and the natural beauty,” Shanabarger said about why he relocated to Grand Junction from California. “Plus, I like to hike and cross-country ski.”
Capturing images in nature is of particular interest to Shanabarger, who takes quite a few black-and-white images and studied with famed photographer Ansel Adams in the Yosemite Valley in the late-1960s.
“You get an emotional response,” he said of black-and-white photos. “It reaches a different point of your subconscious. Going to black and white requires you to look beyond something that’s obvious.”