According to industry figures from a couple of years ago, there were nearly 200 million cameras in the U.S. accounting for something like 17 billion photos. These figures represent images made on celluloid, then chemically processed, and do not include those digitally captured and most commonly, ink-jet rendered.
To that total we can add even more "mirrors with memory" reflections like school, class and team portraits, identification pictures, drivers licenses, police mug shots, passports, immigration cards, work and player passes, etc. Then there are the gazillions of others in museum and library collections and those reproduced in books, and let's not forget the millions currently stored somewhere underground in Pennsylvania by Corbis (formerly the Bettman Archive), which is a Microsoft subsidiary.
Sitting at my kitchen table I'm confronted by more than 40 framed snap shots of family and friends and were I to include those in other rooms I could easily top 100.
In other words, we are a part of a culture that is obsessive about taking, displaying, filing, e-mailing, misplacing, collecting, recording and otherwise surrounding ourselves with "Kodak moments."
No doubt we've come a long way from a century and one-half ago and the rudimentary borrowing of images and events. We've all read about or seen depictions in cinema of the so-called spear brandishing "primitives" threatening early photographers for stealing their souls via a big black box on a tripod.
Ironically, capturing souls and stealing the spirit of places has become the measure of quality in fine art photography and that ideal is where local photographer Tim Brumbeloe has focused his lens and craft.
The 36-year-old Fort Wayne native has shown in galleries both locally and in Europe to enthusiastic patrons. But his current exhibition at the new Vorderman Gallery in Roanoke is his first solo installation where all elements of his three-part work have been on the wall simultaneously. Timely enough, the cameraman will be hosting an open house Friday, March 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. before making his annual sojourn to Italy and in particular Sicily, his primary source for subject matter.
And there on April 10 in a town called Ragusa he is scheduled to re-marry his wife Carmelinda Migliorino in traditional Sicilian style (they were hitched here in a civil ceremony in January).
As a kid Brumbeloe bugged his father enough for use of the family camera to where he bought his son a 35mm Canon and set him up in a darkroom. In this environment and over hundreds of hours, the young amateur developed his taste for both the art and science of photography.
Brumbeloe spent an otherwise normal upbringing except for traditional youth sporting activities. "Somehow any genes specific to athletics skipped over me," he admits. He did, however, discover music and the guitar, which has provided him with a release. Over the past dozen years he has performed on rhythm and/or lead guitar for a group formerly known as the Jury.
After graduating from South Side, Brumbeloe took some art classes at IPFW, but he had already been working on the commercial stage, and academia paled in comparison to the first-hand lessons he was learning in the field. He continues to maintain an ongoing relationship with his clients in the commercial field, and his success has allowed him to schedule and retain both advertising shoots and his fine art efforts.
"Some may see a conflict in serving, in a way, two masters but," says Brumbeloe, "I find it a very comfortable world. Each has its special demands or rules, but I'm able to bring elements from one into the other, and the whole process is one of creation, not competition. Craft and art can be merged. They're not mutually exclusive."
In upwards of 40 pieces at Vorderman's freshly opened gallery Brumbeloe shows off distinct techniques ranging from simple to complex. Of these, perhaps the most original and strongest collection is a series entitled "Visione sulla vita e sulla fede" which translates roughly as "Concepts about life and worship."
Wandering through churches in southern Sicily, Brumbeloe occasioned upon religious statuary dating back several hundred years. These silent, sculpted forms gave birth to the notion in Brumbeloe's mind of the eternal queries "Who, What, When, Where, How and Why?" In turn, the questions evolved into excellent fodder for photography and Photoshop.
Using an inauspicious Nikon Coolpix, Brumbeloe pilfered dozens of shots, then manipulated and colorized them into individual views that are at once startling, chilling and reaffirming icons. I immediately referenced Fellini and Ken Russell, but that may say more about me than the images. They are definitely one of a kind, and they tell why Brumbeloe is not acting out the role of a tourist but that of a serious interpreter.
The second part of the series, "Intimate Spaces," speaks to Brumbeloe's craftsmanship and artistry as he records the historic architecture and ruddy landscape of Italy then doctors some images with oil paint and other alchemical recipes.
Frozen in time are glimpses of arcades, walls, doorways, windows, buildings and hallways. With these Brumbeloe first pulls silver prints from his 2.25 negatives then retouches them with oils and pastels, enhancing the Italian light and adding intimacy and illumination.
A particular favorite captures a cluster of men assembled in various poses studying a poster advertising a soccer match. The picture adds meaning, even drama, to an everyday, mundane slice of life. The men find answers for the site and tickets, but there's no solace for the fact that they won't be playing.
In his third and last series, entitled "Spy Photos," Brumbeloe snaps everyday gestures as he moves about the Italian streets. A pedestrian waiting curbside for a light to change, a market vender, a posed hand - they are all images depicting the normal routine of life, but here, removed from their original context, they take on additional meaning through our attention.
All in all Brumbeloe proves himself an adept, insightful and talented artist. Ultimately, he says, he wants to produce a coffee table book of his Italian odyssey. No doubt it would be a very thick and rich volume.
Steve Vorderman, a professional portraitist photographer himself, maintains his studio at the Roanoke site, which he salvaged from a turn-of-the-century bank. The gallery, which will specialize in fine art photography, is located at 112 North Main Street.
by David Tanner
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Art on Broadway — Tours of 5 downtown venues featuring art from Alexandra Hall, Julie Wall, Peter Lupkin, Daniel Dienelt, Knotodday, Kay Gregg, Terry Ratliff and St. Monci, 5 p.m. Saturday, March 25, Broadway Street, Fort Wayne, free, 417-5925
Beer, Bourbon, Bacon Festival — Unlimited beer sampling from national and regional craft breweries, fine bourbon sampling and bacon inspired treats, 6-9 p.m. Saturday, March 25 (5-9 p.m. VIP), Marquis and Three Rivers Ballrooms, Hotel Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, $35-$75, 484-0411
An Evening with Author Tom Frank — Author of What’s the Matter with Kansas talks about his new book; hors d’oeuvres, lecture and book signing included in admission, 6 p.m. Saturday, March 25, CS3 Hideaway, Fort Wayne, $15 plus donation, 602-1008
Puttin’ on the Ritz —Active 20-30 club fundraiser with live music from Chris Worth and Company, gourmet edibles, wine and beer, live and silent auctions; black tie optional, 7 p.m. Saturday, March 25, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, $50-$90, 450-2844
Shipshewana on the Road — Food, craft and primitives show and sale, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, March 25 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, March 26, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne, $4, 483-1111
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Big Dick and the Penetrators — Classic rock at Navy Club, Ship 245, New Haven, 7-11 p.m., no cover, 493-4044
Brat Pack — Rat Pack/variety at Nick's Martini & Wine Bar, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m., no cover, 482-6425
Cougar Hunter — 80s glam rock at Vinnie's Bar, Decatur, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., $5, 729-2225
Ellsworth Sharp — Neofolk at Friendly Fox, Fort Wayne, 6:30-8:30 p.m., no cover, 745-3369
FBC Band w/Sheba — Variety/Music and Memories benefit at C2G Music Hall, Fort Wayne , 8 p.m., $7-$15, 426-6434
Fireball Matinee — Rock at Hideaway Lounge, Bluffton, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., no cover, 824-0455
Fleshwounds — Rock at Hamilton House, Hamilton, 9 p.m.-1 a.m., no cover, 488-3344
Fort Wayne Funk Orchestra — Funk at Dupont Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 9:30 p.m., cover, 483-1311
Fu5ion — Variety at Mitchell's Sports Bar & Neighborhood Grill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., $3, (260) 387-5063
The Illegals — Rock at O'Sullivan's Italian Irish Pub, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m.-1 a.m., no cover, 422-5896
Joe Stabelli — Jazz at Don Hall's Gas House, Fort Wayne, 5:45-9 p.m., no cover, 426-3411
John Curran & Renegade — Country at Alley Sports Bar, Pro Bowl West, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-1 a.m., no cover, 483-4421
Johnny Freakin' Xcitor — Country rock at Beamer's Sports Grill, Fort Wayne, 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m., no cover, 625-1002
Kat Bowser — Variety at Don Hall's Guesthouse, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., no cover, 489-2524
The Orange Opera w/Mickyle James — Rock at Brass Rail, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., $5, 267-5303
Prime Suspects — Variety at American Legion Post 499, Fort Wayne, 8-11 p.m., no cover, 483-1368
Quincy and the Q-Tet feat. Phil Potts — Rock/variety at Downtown Eatery & Spirits, Warsaw, 10 p.m.-1 a.m., no cover, (574) 267-6000
Second Nature — Pop at Crazy Pinz, Fort Wayne, 8-11 p.m., no cover, 490-2695
Shannon Persinger Quartet — Jazz/variety at Club Soda, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., no cover, 426-3442
Todd Harrold & Nick Bobay Duo — R&B/blues/variety at American Legion Post 148, Fort Wayne, 7 p.m., no cover, 423-4751
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Ambitious Blondes Karaoke — Variety at Office Tavern, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 478-5827
Beat Karaoke & DJ — Variety at American Legion Post 296, Fort Wayne, 8 p.m. , no cover, 456-2988
Bucca Karaoke w/Bucca — Variety at Tower Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 436-6310
Classic City Karaoke w/Bryan Lee — Karaoke at Corner Pocket Tavern, Fremont, 10 p.m., no cover, 495-9255
Classic City Karaoke w/Tobin — Karaoke at Toad's Tavern, Monroeville, 10 p.m., no cover, 623-6226
DJ Shawn — Karaoke/variety at Club Paradise, Angola, 10 p.m., no cover, 833-7082
Fort Wayne Karaoke — Karaoke at Latch String Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 10:30 p.m., no cover, 483-5526
Fort Wayne Karaoke w/Brian — Variety at AJ's Bar and Grill, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m., , 434-1980
Fort Wayne Karaoke w/Josh — Variety at Arena Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 557-1563
Fort Wayne Karaoke w/TJ — Variety at Chevvy's, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 436-4748
House DJ — Variety at Early Bird's Ultra Lounge, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m., cover, 483-1979
House DJ — Variety at Flashback on the Landing, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m., cover, 422-5292
Karaoke — Variety at Crooner's Karaoke Bar, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m.-3 a.m., no cover, 486-1979
Live DJ — Variety at Wrigley Field Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 485-1038
Shooting Star Prod. w/Barbie — Variety at Uncle Lou's Steel Mill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 436-5787
Shooting Star Prod. w/Stu — Variety at Pike's Pub, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 478-6200
Sidecar Gary's Karaoke & DJ — Karaoke at Kville Pub, Kendallville, 9 p.m.-1 a.m., no cover, 348-1677
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The Children’s Hour — Lillian Hellman’s seminal drama about bigotry perpetuated against the LGBT community and how easily a lie can spread, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 25, First Presbyterian Theater, Fort Wayne, $12-$20, 426-7421 ext. 121
Getting Sara Married — Comedy about an unmarried lawyer in need of a husband (according to her aunt), 7 p.m. dinner, 8 p.m. curtain, Saturday, March 25, Arena Dinner Theatre, Fort Wayne, $40 (includes dinner & show), 424-5622
One Foot in the Gravy — Howard Kingkade’s comedy and winner of Fort Wayne Civic Theatre’s Northeast Indiana Playwright Festival, 8 p.m. Saturday, March 25; 2 p.m. Sunday, March 26, Arts United Center, Fort Wayne, $10-$20, 422-4226
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22nd Annual Valentine’s Invitational — Works from local and national artists, Tuesday-Saturday and by appointment thru March 31, Castle Gallery Fine Art, Fort Wayne, 426-6568
2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards — Award-winning works from northern Indiana and northwest Ohio middle and high school students, Tuesday-Sunday thru April 9, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Afros: A Celebration of African Hair by Michael July — Contemporary photography exhibit by Brooklyn author/photographer, daily thru April 14, D’Agostino Art Gallery, Indiana Tech, Fort Wayne, 399-8626
An Artful Spring — Works by Gwen Gutwein, Patricia Weiss, Austin Cartwright and more, Tuesday-Saturday thru March 31, Crestwoods Frame Shop & Gallery, Roanoke, 672-2080
Decatur Sculpture Tour — 31 original sculptures and 15 permanent exhibits on display, walking tour maps available, thru April 1, Decatur, free, 724-2605
Echolilia — Works from Timothy Archibald and his autistic son, Eli, Tuesday-Sunday thru June 11, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Entropy — Daniel Swartz solo exhibition explores relationship between death and mourning through combinations of mythology, mathematics, multi-dimensional physics and pop culture, Monday-Saturday thru April 1, Jennifer Ford Art, Fort Wayne, 740-1309
Diane Allen Groenert — Exhibition of local artist’s Downtown Series and new works, Monday-Saturday thru June 24, West Central Microcreamery & Cafe, Fort Wayne, 415-9293
Expressions of Existence — An exhibition of works by artists through history, including Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Francisco Goya and others whose works have been influenced by disabilities, Tuesday-Sunday thru June 11, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Fort Wayne Artist Guild Exhibitions — Works by Alice Siefert at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Jennifer Caudel at Allen County Retinal Surgeons, Anita Trick, Citizens Square (2nd and 3rd floors), Darlene Selzer Miller at The Einhaus Group for Women’s Health, Patricia Weiss at Heritage of Fort Wayne, Emily Jane Butler at Ophthalmology Consultants (Southwest), Linda Binek at Ophthalmology Consultants (North), Carolyn Stachera at Rehabilitation Hospital of Fort Wayne, John Kelty at ResCare Inc. Adult Day Service, Wiletta Blevins at Town House Retirement, Karen Bixler at Visiting Nurse Hospice and Barb Yoder and Karen Harvey at Will Jewelers, thru April 30, fortwayneartistguild.org.
Fort Wayne Photographers Club — Exhibition featuring local photographers, Tuesday-Sunday thru April 30, Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, Fort Wayne, $3-$5 (2 and under, free), 427-6440
Garden Party — Garden-themed works in a variety of mediums from over 30 local artists, Monday-Saturday thru March 31, Orchard Gallery of Fine Art, Fort Wayne, 436-0927
Generations: A View of Who Was Who — Works by Romare Bearden, Kara Walker, Alma Thomas, Jacob Lawrence and other African-American artists, Tuesday-Sunday thru April 9, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Glass: A Medium in Art and Automobiles — Dale Chihuly blown glass and fiberglass auto, daily thru Sept. 8, Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, Auburn, $7.50-$12.50, 925-1444
A Mary Poppins Garden Party — Child-oriented garden exhibit, Tuesday-Sunday thru April 1, Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, Fort Wayne, $3-$5 (2 and under, free), 427-6440
Moments in Time: Reflecting on the Human Spirit — Elizabeth Opalenik photographs from her recent Amish series A Journey Home and her Reflecting on the Edge exhibition, daily thru March 26, Visual Arts Gallery, IPFW, Fort Wayne, 481-6709
Outdoor Sculpture Invitational — Fifteen outdoor sculptures from regional artists, daily thru April 30, School of Creative Arts campus, University of Saint Francis North Campus, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
RAW. Untamed. Unashamed. Visions of Freedom. — Abstract romanticist works in acrylics and epoxy from Kristy Jahn, Fridays and Saturday-Thursday by appointment thru March 25, The Gallery at Pranayoga, Fort Wayne, 423-9642
Sharon — An exhibition of Leon Borensztein photographs chronicling the struggles he faced raising his severely disabled daughter, Tuesday-Sunday thru June 11, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Wabash County Schools Exhibition — Works by high school art students, daily thru April 16, Clark Gallery, Honeywell Center, Wabash, 563-1102