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QnA: Terrance Reimer and The Third California
Terrance Reimer is a peripheral figure. He seems to just be around the art/music scene. You've seen him no doubt. He's the tall guy up front at all the shows snapping pictures with his point-and-shoot. That's how he plays it, sort of anonymous. Just a guy with a camera. The images he captures have a fly-on-the-wall candidness, a theme that inspires, Third California, the collection of snapshots Reimer took around the Central Valley. Many of the images have been on display in town, but he recently shipped them off to the Brooks Institute's Gallery 27 in Santa Barbara, where they will be on display starting Nov. 3. The solo show will be up through Jan. 16. We caught up with Reimer via email in advance of the opening.
First, some background on you. How did you end up in the area? How did you get started in photography?
In March of 1999, I "emigrated" to California by way of the Middle West, after working as a photojournalist in Ohio, to help launch West Coast Imaging; a fine art digital print making studio in Oakhurst, just south of Yosemite. After purchasing my first camera in 7th grade, I began taking pictures for the high school yearbook a year later. At 19, I was hired as a staff photographer at a daily newspaper. Summa cum laude graduate from Ohio University, dual major - art history and photography.
Tell us about Third California as a project. How did it come into being? What were you hoping to accomplish with the photos?
This project simply started out initially as a collection of countless thousands of 4x6 drug-store film processed snapshots captured during my daily discoveries and adventures exploring this visually and culturally bountiful Central Valley area. This project found its name from a 2007 public policy research brief by Brookings Institution fellows Joel Kotkin and William H. Frey – "Golden State's New Frontier - The Third California." In 2007, a selection of this work was exhibited in Fresno and most recently in two different group exhibitions here in the Valley at the Conley Gallery at CSU Fresno in February and at Arts Visalia in July.
And the exhibit in Santa Barbara?
It has been a wonderful pleasure working with Brooks Institute's Gallery 27 curator Jesse Groves on this exhibition. I am humbled and honored to be sharing this project in such a tremendous space. There will be 34 images as part of the solo exhibition.
What is the third California in your mind?
The Third California is the ultimate unappreciated underdog under the radar.
Explain the technical process of putting the Third California series together. Why choose a point-and-shoot camera and .$99 film, etc.
Several considerations for choosing this banal, consumerist approach in using a simple 'point-and-shoot' camera and cheap .99 cent rolls of 35mm film and drugstore processing included my desire to appear as a "tourist'"while out making pictures, which is impossible if you have several large cameras around your neck and a big bag of gear over your shoulder. I was looking for anonymity while I was out photographing. Keeping it real and liberating my vision, with one camera, one lens and one film.
You do seem to be out at local happening a lot. How does Fresno art and music scene inspire what you do?
The Central Valley is a melting pot mash-up of sorts, alive with diverse, multicultural influences that are beautifully expressed through the art and music created in this fecund and flourishing community of artists. This dynamic and thriving community continues to inspire me and provide an astonishingly vibrant and vital source of verve and camaraderie.
Is there anything else that people should know about the exhibit/the photos/you?
Those that make it over to the opening night festivities, Nov. 3, an amazing after-party celebration is planned with indie folk band Deer Tick at Velvet Jones.