Photographer Troy Knight will be the Galveston Art League’s Featured Artist from Oct. 3-27. About a dozen of his photos, some shot locally and others from as far away as China, will be for sale at the front of the Art League’s gallery, 2117A Postoffice St. in Galveston. The gallery is open from noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays and until 9 p.m. during ArtWalk, Saturday, Oct. 12.
Knight, a Houston resident, says his interest in photography began when he was an 18-year-old soldier stationed 17 miles from the demilitarized zone in Korea. “Having absolutely nothing to do, I decided to purchase a camera from the PX and take snapshots of my new and very unfamiliar environment,” he says. “Luckily, I purchased a Kodak Signet 80, which was a great choice for a rank beginner.”
His black-and-white photos from that time reveal desolation: bleak landscapes, Koreans living in desperate times, and the sad faces of his Army buddies. Later, as a happy civilian, his photos reflected “this traditional life of new babies, new cars, new houses, birthdays, and all those wonderful experiences that make life rich and full.” He filled albums with pictures from his trusty Kodak.
“I never had any formal training but took a few classes taught by members of the community,” he says, “and my interest in photography continued to grow. As I had the opportunity to travel more, my camera inventory increased.”
Knight, whose website is www.TroyKnightPhotography.com, purchased a more up-to-date camera, bought more lenses, and moved from film to digital format. “I finally realized that the camera could be an artistic tool and not just an instrument to record family activities.”
After a visit to the Galveston Art League Gallery, Knight entered a league contest and one of his photos was accepted and exhibited. “This experience opened a new world to me. Now more leisure time allows me to use my camera every day to capture the essence of a culture, the spirit of a landscape, and the heart of a story. It is a joy to know that some of my pictures have emotionally touched others and are now in their homes, that I get to share the story of these photos with others, and that I get to continue to grow as a photographer.”
Each month the Galveston Art League changes out its exhibits as part of its mission to promote visual arts and art education throughout the greater Galveston County region. The 105-year-old nonprofit organization has always been staffed exclusively by volunteers, and its operating budget depends on tax-deductible contributions, sales of memberships and sponsorships, and proceeds from its annual gala.
Open to the public, this year’s gala – featuring fine dining and open bar, auctions of artwork and local merchants’ donations, the raffle of a wheelbarrow loaded with spirits, and live music – will be 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at the San Luis Hotel Grand Ballroom. Tickets are available at www.GalvestonArtLeague.com and 409-938-1671. For further details, you may also email firstname.lastname@example.org.