It was just a couple of months ago when Kalebra called us all together to share her idea of showcasing the work of our KelbyOne members — to lift them up and help them reach a wider audience — and give them a solo gallery showing and a live broadcast to share their work with other people around the world. Of course, step one was — build an art gallery, and with the help of a lot of wonderful folks, it all came together in seemingly no time. Saturday night, we were thrilled to be able to cut the ribbon (see below) on “The Gallery at KelbyOne” — a place where our members’ work would be celebrated and showcased in openings just like this all year long.
After nearly 1,000 submissions from around the world, our judges chose the photographic work of Sonoma, California graphic designer Mark Wegner to open the gallery. We flew Mark and his lovely wife Carol in for a wine and cheese reception in the gallery on Saturday night, followed by a one-on-one interview with Mark about his work, his life, and his vision. It was such an inspiring, fun evening with Larry Becker hosting the presentation/interview (and of course, Larry was just marvelous).
I’m going to share some behind-the-scenes images from Saturday (below), but I wanted to give a special shoutout to the folks at Bay Photo Lab, who graciously not only provided the beautiful prints (and they were gorgeous), but also their clever mounting and exhibition system called “Xpozer” which couldn’t have been a better fit for our gallery, or for displaying Mark’s beautiful images. We had so many questions about the printing and mounting, that we were literally doing demo’s to the guests to show how it all works. Very clever (thank you Bay Photo — you guys rock!).
Here’s a peek behind the scenes (I’ll tell a bit more of the story in the captions — photos by Melvin Rodriguez unless otherwise noted):
Above: Cutting the ribbon to officially open “The Gallery at KelbyOne” (L to R: Jean A. Kendra, yours truly, Kalebra Kelby, our featured artist Mark Wegner, and our host for the evening, Larry Becker).
Above: A couple admiring one of my favorite’s of Mark’s images — his dramatic black and white shot of a Bison.
Above: Mark chatting with some of our guests in the gallery.
Above: One of our guests (far left) peeks behind one of the prints to see how they’re mounted.
Above: Lots of wonderful cheeses and wines on hand for our guests as they head into the gallery. When you first enter the gallery, we have a collection of photographic work from our KelbyOne instructors on display.
Above: Giving some love to BayPhoto for their awesome prints and mounting system.
Above: Mmmmmm. Cheese. :)
Above: A few scenes from Mark’s opening.
Above: Mark chatting with guests about his work.
Above: We opened the video area so guests could take a peek at the KelbyOne Studios and the sets we use for everything from training classes to live webcasts and even the set of “The Grid” (both the new one, and the classic set which is still intact for a few more weeks).
Above: After the reception, we moved into the KelbyOne theatre to learn more about Mark and his wonderful work. This is me briefly welcoming the crowd as I introduce Larry Becker, our host for the evening, and our featured artist, Mark Wegner.
Above: Larry and Mark begin their chat, streamed live all over the world.
Above: Larry was such a great host. Such a great wit, but also, so great at getting the most out of his guests. It made for a very inspiring night.
Above: Mark shared so many great insights, tips, and he was funny, clever, and such an inspiring artist.
Above: Mark talked about a number of his pieces in the gallery and what went into making them.
Above: A little behind-the-scenes from the production side of things. That’s Leighton on the jib crane camera.
Above: The chemistry between Larry and Mark really made the talk captivating.
Above: It was the perfect setting for such an intimate talk with the artist, and before you knew it, it was time to say goodnight.
Above: Larry looks on as Mark shares the story of his work.
Above: At the end of the night, after we said goodbye to our last guest, Kalebra snapped this shot of the gallery with her trusty iPhone. For me, it was really something to see her idea come to life so quickly, and it was especially gratifying in how our team embraced the idea of showcasing someone from our own community, and how they all came together in such a short amount of time to build a beautiful gallery to give our members that opportunity. I’m so proud of our crew — Kalebra, Jean Kendra and I are very blessed to be able to work with them each day.
In just a few weeks, we’ll start on the course to find the next KelbyOne member who’ll have their own solo opening here in our gallery, and I’ll be sure to let you know when submissions are open.
Again, our hearty congratulations to Mark for sharing his beautiful work, and for sharing his wonderful wife Carol with us during their visit. She was a joy. They both are — and it’s the icing on the cake to be there when really good things happen to really good people. Also, my humble thanks to my wife Kalebra for sharing her vision, and her heart for making people’s dreams come true, and for letting us all be a part of it.
Here’s to a day when your dreams come true. :)