Galleries host Salida Ink by Mark Weidman and watercolors by Nancy Kay

“Mendocino Hike,” watercolor by Nancy Kay.

The SteamPlant Event Center is hosting two exhibitions in August featuring photographer Mark Weidman in the Paquette Gallery and watercolorist Nancy Kay in the Diesslin Gallery. Both artists will speak about their work at the Creative Mixer on Thursday, Aug. 10, 5:30-7 p.m. They’ll also greet the public at an artist reception in the Paquette Gallery on Saturday, Aug. 19, 5-7 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Photographer Mark Weidman

Weidman’s exhibition, Salida Ink, is a photo essay about Salidans and the stories behind their tattoos. “I don’t recall the exact moment or reason when I came up with the concept for Salida Ink, but when I first started to look at tattoo photos, I realized most of them are just average snapshots. I quickly learned there is a reason for that; creating compelling photographs of people and their tattoos is a challenge, and one that I have enjoyed. I got to meet new people and learn the stories behind their tattoos. The biggest challenge was convincing new acquaintances to come to my studio, particularly men. Then the challenge was both technical, from a photography perspective, and personal, in that I am working with someone (usually a stranger) in a relatively personal, though completely professional, process. It was definitely a left brain/right brain exercise!”

Weidman discovered his passion for photography after enrolling in a photojournalism course at the University of Utah. He completed his photography degree at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Weidman’s images have appeared in many national magazines, including Outside, Audubon and National Geographic Traveler & National Geographic Books and The New York Times Magazine. Commercial clients include Lands’ End, DuPont, W. L. Gore (Goretex), Graphic Arts Center and most major textbook and calendar publishers. Weidman licenses his more than 150,000 images through agencies around the world.

His photography has been exhibited at the Smithsonian and featured in two PBS documentaries: “Faces of the North” and “Pennsylvania.” James Michener called his book Pennsylvania “brilliantly evocative.”

Weidman has lived in Salida nine years and photographs artwork for local artists and organizations in his studio. Since moving to Colorado, his photography focuses on people in the outdoors and Colorado landscapes and wildlife.

Watercolorist Nancy Kay

Kay enjoys painting old, rusty trucks as well as landscapes, architecture and unique perspectives of objects. Painting watercolors has been her hobby for over a decade, and she is now enjoying the freedom to pursue her creative passion.

This collection of watercolors includes scenes that spark my creative spirit,” said Kay. “The joy of painting rust and peaceful places is obvious.”

A retired engineer originally from northern California, Kay spent her career in mechanical design, focused on very precise drawings. Spending more time in the studio experimenting with color and shapes as well as studying in watercolor workshops has helped Kay “loosen” her painting style.

Kay has lived in Salida five years. She hopes to become more involved in the local art scene and galleries, as so many creative people and the beauty of the mountains inspire her.