That’s Stephen Wallace, and you probably recognize him as the KelbyOne member who was the winner of our contest for a solo show in the Gallery at KelbyOne, but he’s also a rising star, and on Saturday night his star was certainly shining bright!
Right after his interview with Larry Becker, broadcast live and viewed all over the world, I was standing in the theater when a gentleman who was in the audience came up to tell Steve how much he admired his work, and how fascinating his talk was, but he said something that really stood out. He said to Steve that what was most amazing to him was for an incredible of a photographer as Stephen is, he was so humble about it all. It made us all love him, and his work, even more.
It was a magical night
Like the openings for Mark Wegner and Melanie Kern-Favila before him — there is something so special that happens when we all come together to experience beautiful art; to share the process and learn about the person behind it; and to celebrate what is good in this world. It was a wonderful night of learning, laughter, and watching as another star is born. I’ll share some of the images from the evening here, with a few captions, but if you get a chance, watch Stephen’s talk from the gallery (it’s embedded a little farther down this page). There is so much to this artist, to his man, and he has a lot to share. He truly honored the gallery with this images, and his words.
Above: I took this shot at the end of the night, after everybody left, down low with a wide angle lens. Stephen’s images from Myanmar (formerly Burma) looked amazing on the walls.
Above: He talked a lot about why he choses to photograph so often in Southeast Asia. His answers were so insightful.
Above: His use of natural light, and his understanding of how to harness that light, was really intriguing. So simple, but so effective.
Above: I grabbed a few shots before and after the sold out crowd arrived for his opening.
Above: That’s my personal favorite of Steven’s gallery images. It’s like he’s flying.
Above: Some scenes from Steve’s opening.
Above: Matt Kloskowski and his wife Diana dropped by – that’s Matt chatting with Steve before his talk.
Above: I know we talk a lot about Bay Photo Lab’s Xposure printing system, but you should see the reaction of people who visit the gallery. The images look so amazing, and the mounting is so clever. It was one of the first things Stephen looked at when he saw his images for the first time. We feel very fortunate, very blessed to have BayPhoto as our sponsor for the gallery — their printing system helps the images come alive.
Above: This is Steve’s interview from Saturday night with Larry Becker (who was as awesome as always) – it says “The Grid Live” for some reason, but that’s not what the actual video is — it’s Steve’s chat with Larry. I promise you – you’ll love it. You’ll learn a lot. You’ll laugh, too. You’ll be intrigued and engaged, and you’ll just really enjoy it. You’ll see some wonderful images, and meet a fascinating man who has lived a pretty incredible life. I hope you take the time. It’s worth it.
Above: Steve and his wonderful wife Becky. We got to spend a little time with them before and after the gallery opening, and they are just awesome people.
Are you next?
On Thursday, we’ll be announcing the next gallery competition opening dates and how you can submit your images, during a live Webcast we’re doing for KelbyOne members on how to get your work noticed in 2018. It’s just one part of our presentation, but it’s an important one.
I hope you’ll be joining some of these amazingly talented people — photographers who all thought they’d never be the one chosen. If you think you probably won’t win…you’re in good company.
A special thanks
I want to give a special thanks to our in-house team who works so hard to put together this special evening. Thanks to Merideth Duffin, our director, Steve Nicolai who leads our video team and makes sure everything works like a charm; to Juan Alfonso our camera operator and jack-of-all-trades; to Rachel Scott who wore many hats from event photographer to social media maven (her day job) to live chat moderator; to Jean A. Kendra for all her help, for being our cheese and wine expert, and for being so supportive of this idea from the very beginning. Thanks to Larry Becker (he’s just so brilliant); to Pam Suttmiller for always helping every time, and to Erik Kuna, who so loves what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, and helps in every aspect from start to finish.
It all started with Kalebra’s dream
None of this would even be possible if Kalebra hadn’t come up with the idea to take someone from our community and find a way to raise them up; to give them a bigger audience for their work; to get them the recognition they deserve. Thank you for being so awesome, and for having such a heart for others. You are just such a cool person.
My thanks for Steven and Becky for honoring our studio, and being such fun, modest, and just just awesome people. Thanks, Steve for sharing your gift with our members and with the world. It was a night none of us will soon forget.
Here’s to a great week everybody, and to new opportunities. :)
Saturday night was one of the best nights of my life. The kindness and generosity of Scott and Kalebra Kelby cannot be overstated. My wife and I felt lucky to be spending time with a truly remarkable couple.
I also want to thank all those at Kelbyone that put together the broadcast. What a well-oiled machine. A special thanks to Larry Becker, one of the best.
Thank you to Erik Kuna for coordinating the display of my images and other things. Thank you to Jeanne Jilleba for arranging our smooth travel to Tampa. Also thanks to Rachel Scott for spreading the word of my gallery opening by social media.
It was also a great treat for me to meet Matt Kloslowski.
The night ended on a high note with a wide-open ride in the fastest car I have ever sat in. The whole evening was a rush.
Great images Steve.
Great write up, great interview, awesome images…congrats all the way around!