Finding beauty in the world

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    Mary Shaw feature webMOUNT IDA – The Ouachita Artist Gallery’s feature artist for January proves beauty is in the eye of the photographer with a wall full of breathtaking photographs taken by Dr. Mary Ann Shaw.
    Shaw, who also serves as the Gallery’s President, stated that she became involved in photography through her former career as a clinical child psychologist.
    She explained that photography was an advocation to augment her clinical work.
    “It (photography) provided me with pleasure and fun so I just went on.” She stated.
    When asked how it augmented her clinical work she stated that photography made her focus on the beauty, which helped her as she worked with children.
    As one examines her work it is easy to see that she has a way of using her camera to bring out the beauty in every day items. Her work includes any number of subjects from the world around her.
    The work on display at the gallery ranges from flowers to old window panes. Her work causes one to pause and lake another look at the objects around them in search of the beauty in the mundane objects we often ignore.
    She admitted that when she retired from her work in Dallas and moved to Montgomery County photojournalism was her passion, but shied away from it due to the complicated legal issues one can run into in that field.
    Instead she turned to still life and has taken the compassion and precision she cultivated through years of working with children in a clinical setting and applied it to her photography. The brisk clarity of the photographs draw you into each picture. The vibrant colors force you to wonder how you have been able to overlook these objects so often.
    Shaw stated that she continues to take photography classes and oftentimes the class she takes dictates what she photographs.
    She continues to work with children through the gallery as an instructor. She offers photography classes for children and has sponsored photography contests for local youth.
    When asked to offer some advise for beginning journalists, Shaw stated that the first thing they should do is get to know their camera.
    “First thing is read your manual and learn your camera. Try to experiment and not stick your camera on automatic.” She said.
    She went on to say that there is more to photography than taking pictures. You’ve got to tell a story and make the focus of the photograph interesting.
    She also encourages people to take classes. She stated that a photographer also has to keep up with the development software as well.
    Shaw stated that she was drawn to the Ouachita Artists’ Gallery because it was a fascinating shop in Mount Ida. She got involved in the gallery because she felt her photography might offer something to the diversity of the gallery.
    “If we can make something in Mount Ida shine it would tickle me to death.” She quipped while talking about her involvement in the gallery.
    She sees herself as a little cog in the gallery, but like all the artists involved, her involvement in the gallery is indispensable. She is entering her second year as the gallery’s president and looks forward to helping the Ouachita Artists’ Gallery become more widely known.

    Thre will be a reception held Sunday, January 17, at the gallery in honor of her work. The gallery will also be celebrating their fifth anniversary in Mount Ida. The reception will begin at 2 p.m.
    The Ouachita Artists’ Gallery is located on the square in Mount Ida at 135 South West Street.

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