Exhibit chronicles yearlong journey around the globe
BELOIT -- Tim and Kathleen Storm are extending an open invitation to take a photographic journey of the places they have visited during the past year.
The Beloit couple currently is hosting the "An Invitation to Photographic Journey" exhibit at the Beloit Fine Arts Incubator, 520 E. Grand Ave. The exhibit is on display until the end of February, 2016.
The exhibit features 104 photographs depicting the couple’s past-year travels to Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Rwanda, Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris, Anguilla, Chicago and Hawaii. The exhibit is presented in chronological order of each trip.
"Africa was the first trip, and it goes chronologically through our year," Kathleen Storm said. "In Africa, the different countries are mixed together, and it takes up half of our exhibit. As you walk through, you kind of get a sense of what our year was like."
The exhibit includes photographs of wildlife, landmarks, nature scenes, architecture and people participating in cultural activities.
"It’s an imitation of the world, but it’s also an imitation of a way to see the world in a slightly different perspective," Tim Storm said.
Besides the photographs, there is a video presentation of a group of dancers performing on a mountaintop in Africa.
"These were teenagers and young adults sharing this dance with us and it was all to raise money for a school," Kathleen said. "It was just really special to see them singing and dancing and playing music. The landscape there is really gorgeous. We want to be able to share the photographs but also the sites and sounds, so we integrated video into it."
Kathleen said it is difficult to determine their favorite place to visit during their travels.
"It’s like asking who’s your favorite child," Kathleen said. "The photographs do reflect the joy of a place. It’s hard to choose (which place was our favorite). They’re all different."
Kathleen said traveling to the different countries gave them the opportunity to experience different cultures and learn how people from around the world live.
"For both of us, Rwanda was incredibly powerful," Kathleen said. "It’s 21 years after the genocide and people have joy and are hopeful. They really live a simple life, but they were welcoming and happy people. We were so impressed with them."
The couple also was in Paris during the time of the terrorist attacks in November. She said several activities went on despite the attacks.
"People are more resilient than what you might see or read. It was a really powerful experience," Kathleen said. "There’s a photograph of a gentleman playing the piano in Paris on the Sunday after the terrorists attacks, which were on a Friday night, and you could see the somber faces, but they’re showing up (to listen to the music). They’re present and they’re defiant about the joy of life in their city."
Kathleen said they also had the opportunity to see some endangered species during their trip to Africa.
"The wild dogs are one of the most endangered species in the world. The silverback and mountain gorillas in Rwanda don’t survive in captivity, and we had to travel for hours to see them," Kathleen said. "There’s only about 700 left, and they’re trying to protect them and increase their numbers."
Kathleen said they were inspired to travel after she was diagnosed with breast cancer about two years ago. She said she is now cancer-free.
"The travel to Africa was turning the page," Kathleen said. "My prognosis was excellent. We were very eager to put that behind us and to live and to celebrate life. In that context, life has become that much more precious and we’re honoring that. That was our invitation to go to these different places and enjoy them."
The couple has put their travel plans on hold for now, but would like to travel again sometime in the future.
"We don’t know where or we don’t know when, but we would like to do more," Tim said.
The Storms have been interested in photography for many years. Kathleen said her main hobby is painting, but she became interesting in photography while traveling to Paris in 2004. Her photography first was featured at the incubator in 2006.
"That for me was exploring. I thought I was taking pictures for paintings and ended up really loving the black and white photographs that I had," she said.
Tim said he has been interested in photography since high school, when he worked for the yearbook.
Tim said that during the past three years, he mostly has taken photographs of sporting events at Hononegah High School and Beloit College, but during his travels he became more interested in taking photos of buildings and architecture.
"In the past three years, I started taking sports photography really seriously, and this past year of travel has really been a search for style away from sports photography and into the more artistic style that I wanted to explore and develop, and I’m getting closer to what that is," Tim said.
Kathleen said she is excited that she and her husband have had the opportunity to share their photographs and travels with people in the community.
"We’re really pleased to be here because it’s coming back to our community and sharing," Kathleen said. "You want to be able to connect and support your community and 30 percent of what we sell (from the exhibit) goes back to the incubator and the local arts."
Jerry Sveum, director of the Beloit Fine Arts Incubator, said he is impressed with the Storms’ photography exhibit.
"It’s awesome. It really tells the stories of their travels, plus there’s technique," Sveum said. "Tim has used a lot of technology. His photography has mostly been in sports, working with Hononegah High School and Beloit College. Kathleen’s work has been really artistic with play of lights, so when they shoot something they’re shooting the same subject and they get a different look when they’re done. They look at things from a different perspective, but it’s a gorgeous exhibit. It’s an exceptional show."
The Beloit Fine Arts Incubator is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, call 608-313-9083 or visit beloitfineartsincubator.com.