TARPON SPRINGS —
The vibe that downtown’s newest gallery is striving to create is neatly summed up in its operational motto: “Unique Art by Unique People.”
Artistic Studio 30, at 9 S. Safford Ave., officially opened its doors to the public on May 19 and its monthly featured creator for June precisely fits the bill, the gallery’s owner, Kat Thomas, said.
Lutz-based photographer Jason Dowd’s work is a mix of traditional photography and other pieces infused with multimedia effects.
His collection “Dreams, Nightmares, Fears and Fantasy” will be June’s featured work, Thomas said, and is set to remain at the gallery throughout the fall.
“I’d seen his work through his Facebook page and I contacted him that way,” Thomas said. “I thought his work was great. He takes unusual photos. It’s not the typical photographer’s photo. He hires models, sometimes he does things based on his dreams or legend.”
This is the second time for Dowd, who owns and operates Dowd Studios, to have his creations displayed in a Tarpon Springs gallery. From June to December 2011, Dowd’s photos adorned the walls of Rudolph’s Art Gallery, which recently closed.
“It’s nice to be back in the same area,” Dowd said of returning to Tarpon Springs. “I love the area. I could spend all my days there in Tarpon Springs just walking the Sponge Docks and downtown, shopping.
“I’ve always kind of had a connection to Tarpon Springs,” he said. “Tarpon Springs always has that home feeling. It’s full of antiques, it’s full of history and that’s something I personally like. I always look for that type of thing because I think it compliments the style of art that I do with my photography.”
Thomas and Artistic Studio 30 have an internationally displayed artist in Dowd.
A portion of his collection, including the piece “Death to Yesterday,” was on display at a Hong Kong gallery in 2009.
Part of the uniqueness that drew Thomas to reach out to Dowd is his photography’s broad base of subject matter. Some pieces may focus on the macabre, some feature celebrity look-alikes and others are based on fairy tails or urban legends.
“There’s really something for everybody,” Dowd said, who incorporates models to create the majority of his pieces.
No current dates are set for Dowd to be at Artistic Studios 30 for live meet-and-greets or demonstrations, but he said he would be like to set up such an arrangement.
“When I do stuff like that I bring in all my models, they dress up in the costumes they did with their pieces, I do some demonstrations and I get to talk to people” about the photos’ stories, Dowd said.
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