Like many people, Celeste Lewis likes to scroll through pictures on Instagram, seeing what friends are up to and what’s going on around town. Lewis was particularly impressed to see beautiful photographs of Kentucky, and she thought others would appreciate them just as much as she did.
“The professional level at which people are photographing the Kentucky landscape is impressive,” she says.
Unlike most Instagram fans, Lewis manages an arts center: the Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center, which boasts the City Gallery.
So, impressed by what she saw on Instagram, she pitched an idea to the center staff of an exhibit of Kentucky photos from the site, and “Kentucky: As Seen on Instagram” is now on exhibit in the City Gallery through Aug. 6, including the July 21 Gallery Hop.
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In the show, Kentucky people, landscapes and culture are captured by the three photographers as they explored life in the Commonwealth.
“I am recording my own life, … sharing what I see and where I am,” Morris says. His photos are mostly captured with an iPhone camera.
Speer uses her iPhone too, but she was given a Canon Rebel T3 by her family after showing interest in photography. She doesn’t consider herself a professional, but Instagram, which she joined in 2012, has helped improve her skill.
“I’ve met and exchanged messages with some incredibly talented people,” she says. “The platform is filled with striking photography.”
Instagram was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and was launched in October 2010 as a free mobile app. It has 700 million active users.
Lowe, with almost 5,000 followers, started using Instagram in June 2015. He appreciates the opportunity of using the app.
He said it provides “good fellowship.” He has made many friends since being on Instagram and says it’s a “good community for people all over the world.”
The exhibit features five photographs from Morris, six from Lowe and five from Speer.
Instagram is often seen as a forum for casual snapshots, but Lewis says the show demonstrates that it can showcase great images.
“We want to encourage everyone to look at Instagram and be blown away,” she says.
If you go
‘Kentucky: As Seen on Instagram’
What: Exhibit of work by three Kentucky based photographers: Josh Lowe, Ryan Morris, and Mary Speer
When: June 9-Aug. 6
Gallery hours: Closed Mon.; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Thurs.; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 10 a.m.-2p.m. Sun.
Where: Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center, 141 E. Main St.