Local photographer’s work on display at MY Place 

By Kara-Leah Grant

What: Photography Exhibition

Who: Leanna Rathkelly

When: Opening Sunday Nov. 3, 4-7 p.m.

Where: MY Place

One of Whistler’s most prolific and well-known photographers opens a month long exhibition of her work at MY Place on Sunday.

Leanna Rathkelly’s work has appeared in Canadian Geographic Magazine, City and Country Home magazine, Beautiful BC magazine, Snow Country magazine, Vancouver magazine and Outdoor Canada magazine. Her exhibition covers the broad spectrum of photographic styles, including a rare opportunity to see examples of portraiture and wedding photos.

"I’ve created a montage of 4 by 6 prints because most people in Whistler don’t get to see the work I do for individual clients, because the clients just take them home," said Rathkelly.

"Someone’s individual portrait or wedding photograph is not something that is saleable as an art piece so I thought it would be fun to do it as a display where there is lots of them. Together, the prints have a lot of motion and a lot of expression. More than anything it captures the expression of people in day to day life."

MY Place regularly runs month-long exhibitions of artists’ work and Rathkelly says the exhibition should help raise awareness of photography as an art form, and may lead to more artists submitting their work to the art selection committee.

"The more people that apply the better off we will be because the bar will be raised," said Rathkelly, who also teaches photography workshops at MY Place.

The exhibition is Rathkelly’s first solo show, and features photography of Whistler Village and naturescapes as well as the panel covered with more than 100 candid portraits and wedding photographs.

"I am very excited to open the show at Millennium Place. It is a wonderful venue for local artists to showcase work," said Rathkelly.

"Many of my pieces on display have never been published before. This show gives me a chance to experiment with photography as art and capture Whistler and the landscape in fun and interesting ways."

The imagery includes computer-enhanced giclee prints, one of which was just recently selected as a new art banner for the Nebbeling Bridge. Rathkelly is the founding chair of the Whistler Photographic Society and a director with the Whistler Arts Council.

A resident of Whistler since 1985, Rathkelly started working as a photographer in the early 1980s. She studied photography at the Alberta College of Art and mentored with professional photographers. A love of the mountains inspired her to move to Whistler where she worked with the Whistler Question newspaper for four years. She then formed Travelling Light Photography, shooting lifestyle and landscapes for advertising and editorial use.

She says she enjoys the variety in her work because it keeps her interested in the art form.

"I don’t have a favourite style of photography because if I did just one I would get bored. If I was only a wedding photographer than I would miss the natural surroundings and the recordings of those as the seasons change," said Rathkelly. "But being a landscape photographer is very solo work because you’re not chatting with people."

Interested people have a chance to chat with Rathkelly about her work at the opening reception of her exhibition this Sunday, starting at 4 p.m.

"It is an informal reception and the exhibition is open for viewing anytime MY Place is open," said Rathkelly.

All of the artwork on exhibit is available for sale through MY place.

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