Canton Youth in the Summertime – Tara Dedmon’s BFA Exhibition at The Hub
By Evan Chwalek
A unique and personal study of Canton youths will soon be presented at The Hub Art Factory, showcasing environmental portraits of local children at play. Tara Dedmon’s BFA Exhibition, which premieres during March 4th’s First Friday, features the graduating senior’s work at The University of Akron’s Myers School of Art. Dedmon’s exhibition serves as one of her final projects before completing her bachelor’s degree in Fine Art Photography.
The Canton Arts District was a natural choice to host Dedmon’s exposition. “When searching for a gallery, I knew that I wanted to have it at a Canton gallery. I contacted ArtsInStark and they recommended The Hub,” Dedmon said. “I began photographing children and families in the suburbs of Canton because I was interested in the environment, as well as the people. I continued this project because I enjoy the experiences I have with the children.”
Tim Carmany, owner of The Hub, was excited to work with Dedmon, saying her topic is one that residents can connect with.
Dedmon’s portraits display the creativity that children possess to transform their surroundings into a playground. She said she hopes this unadulterated innovation shows the value of play in a world increasingly influenced by video games and other electronic distractions.
“I would like viewers of my work to see the potential of the children as well as the fortune they hold within the environment that they reside,” Dedmon said. “There is an element of truth that I would also like to display as the children that I photograph have freedom of play, and are not expected to behave or act in a uniform manner.”
Carmany said he is struck by the seemingly timeless nature of the photos, saying Dedmon’s “subjects could’ve been from 20 years ago — kids being kids. They’re playing in the street, in the yard… Exactly what I remember doing as a kid here.”
The hardest part of Dedmon’s craft is getting the children to behave naturally.
“I had to work to establish relationships with the children to create a comfortable environment and to get them to refrain from smiling for the camera,” she said. Dedmon always seeks the permission of the child’s guardian and has never been denied the opportunity to photograph.
Tara Dedmon’s BFA Exhibition will run throughout March 2016 at The Hub Art Factory, located at 336 6th Street Northwest, Canton. The show opens on March 4th from 6:00 – 11:00 P.M.