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Photography exhibit draws crowd at opening event

By Jennifer Thurbide

It was a full house on May 17, 2012 as the Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre hosted an opening reception for Red Lake: An Exhibit. Curator/Director Michele Alderton reported last week more than 220 people turned out for the first local showing of Harriet Carlson’s photography exhibit.

“Last night’s attendance was the highest attendance we’ve ever had at a special event,” said Alderton the next morning. “We were delighted with the turnout and the public’s response, which was overwhelmingly positive. The high attendance speaks volumes about local people’s recognition of Harriet’s talent, and their affection for her and the other women who participated in the project.”

Red Lake: An Exhibit is a series of fashion photographs taken by local Harriet Carlson which feature designs by seamstress Alison Trow along with local models and hair and makeup artists.

“It was such a fun project to lay out all the fabric on a table and draw pictures with my niece’s crayons and plan dresses,” exclaimed the artist as she took the microphone to address the crowd. “Amber and Ashley did the hair and the makeup and that was awesome. Just to be able to utilize professionals in town make the photos that much better. It was a really lucky experience.”

“Everybody was so helpful,” she continued, “everybody always said yes to my crazy ideas – from modeling to letting us borrow trailers and airplanes. It is really in the spirit of Red Lake I think that everybody is so supportive and that everyone came out [tonight] – Thank you.”

Also taking a minute to offer a few words on the project Trow said “when Harriet called me to say ‘I think I may get some money and can you make a few dresses for me, I am not sure how many I need or exactly what I want’ I thought sure I can do it – and then she showed up at my house and I said ‘oh you really mean it – I have to do it now’.” Trow says the project renewed her love of creating clothing and that she is looking forward to the next project with Carlson.

The evening event brought out young and old alike with Alderton noting the youngest attendant was Desmond Grondin whose mom was captured in a photograph posing at the Lakeview – Carlson’s grandmother Florence Carlson who is 97 years old and who spent many years as a museum board member was also in attendance.

“More than anything [this show] presents us with an opportunity to see what can be accomplished when exceptionally talented people come together and collaborate with one another,” Alderton told those who gathered last Wednesday. “It’s not just Harriet, it is Alison, it is the makeup artists and the hair artists and everybody and really I think that this show would stand on its own in any art gallery in Canada and I am sure it would be so well received.”

Harriet Carlson addresses the crowd while Allison Trow looks on at the opening of Red Lake: An Exhibit on May 17, 2012

Red Lake: An Exhibit will be on display at the Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre until June 9th.

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