I am a visual artist working in photography and digital art. I think of photographs as dreams made tangible. They represent a physical extension of a memory for me. But I want to go beyond just recording a time and place; I want to capture what I feel in that moment. My goal is to lead the eye through an image with the same effect that a storyteller weaves a tale.
Since my early school days, I have been learning, creating, exhibiting, and teaching photography as a vital medium in visual art. As a young person, I was fascinated by the power of photographs in magazines such as Life and Look, and how they could actually change the public opinion of a nation or a world.
My work champions some of the hidden and temporal natural treasures on this planet and hopefully challenges everyone to be actively engaged in protecting our surroundings. Promoting this understanding of our world, and our place in it, will help us make sure it is here for generations to come.
I received my first opportunity by winning a scholarship to attend the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts while still in high school. Since then my work has appeared in many regional, national, and international exhibitions and has also been reproduced in national magazines for fine art photography.
Over the years, I have been very fortunate to have received many awards for my work. A few examples: in 1990 I received the top award for black and white photography from Photographer’s Forum magazine and my work appeared in the book The Best of Photography as a first-place winner. In 2014 I received the State Museum of Pennsylvania Purchase Art Award and in 2015 I was part of an international showcase of photography at the Louvre Museum in France. And in 2018 my REACH portfolio earned an Honorable Mention for black and white landscape images in a series at the London based international MonoVision Awards.
In 2021 I exhibited several works at the international Barcelona Foto Biennale at the FotoNostrum Gallery in Barcelona, Spain (winning their Honorable Mention Award), as well as a solo exhibition at Kentucky's prestigious Louisville Photo Biennial. My artwork has also appeared in international juried art and photography exhibitions both here and abroad, including New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Budapest, Barcelona, Venice, and Rome.
My influences are as diverse as my images and include such names as photographers Ansel Adams, Minor White, Larry Fink, Joyce Tenneson, and Gordon Parks. Painters include Asher Durand, Frederic Church, Caravaggio, and Roger Dean, as well as the writer and illustrator William Blake. But what they all share is a passion for their subjects and an understanding of how light and shadow convey an emotional meaning beyond the surface world.
Richard S McWherter