Kimball Art Center invites Carla Boecklin to show ‘Postcards’
Park City resident and photographer Carla Boecklin is looking forward to her exhibit "Postcards" that will open on May 30 and run through July 20 at the Kimball Art Center’s Garage Gallery.
"One of the reasons is because the Kimball Art Center is a community gathering center," Boecklin said during an interview with The Park Record. "I love that there is a coffee shop there and that my exhibit will be in the Garage Gallery at the coffee shop. I love that the Kimball is a recognizable name.
"That’s very flattering and somewhat intimidating," she said. "I also am thrilled the show will be up for a month and a half, which is a good chunk of time."
The idea for the exhibit was to show a bunch of photos that capture a moment in life. Boecklin said.
"I know that sounds so cliché, because everyone says that about photography," she said. "But the exhibit is about getting the split-second image that might evoke a feeling — whether it’s nostalgia and you remember being with someone, or compassion. I just wanted to show photos that clicked those feelings in people’s head."
One of the photographs that illustrate that point more than any of the others is a man walking down the street in Manhattan, New York.
"It was so hot, and this was in front of us and he must have been about 90," Boecklin remembered. "He had on his Sunday best — pressed shirt, cute slacks and a hat — and he was holding a bag.
"My camera usually hangs on my hip and I took a quick snap, without looking through the viewfinder, because I didn’t want him to think were we stalking him," she said. "It just fascinated me to think about what this guy was doing on such a hot day because he was all dressed up."
The man fascinated Boecklin.
"I began to wonder if his wife was waiting for him at home and if he was bringing her some medicine in the bag," she said. "I thought about where he may live and how long he had been living there and wondered if he just went out every day to give him something to do.
"Seeing him just provoked all those thoughts into my head," Boecklin said. "These are the kind of photographs that are in the exhibit."
"Postcards" will feature 20 pieces on display, and they are all black and white.
"I love black and white photography," Boecklin said. "I mean, I shoot everything from portraits to corporate events, whatever works and clients are always asking me to shoot in color, so this is my chance to do what I want to do."
The photographer believes black and white photographs works well as art.
"For me, it’s getting the tones just right and enrichment and telling the story," she said. "I craft it through the lens and then craft it through processing. I rely on processing as part of the artistic method. I don’t think it’s cheating. I mean, I’m not swapping heads or doing things like that."
When Boecklin crafts her photographs, she starts with a raw image.
"From there, I either go color or black and white, and it’s not like I hit a conversion button," she explained. "I really take the photo and tweak it in whatever way it needs to be done."
The photographs were taken from all over the country, including Oregon, Maine, Colorado, Chicago and Manhattan.
"I’ve lived in a lot of different places and traveled a lot," Boecklin said with a laugh. "I wish I could say that I have all these photos in different travel journals, but I don’t."
The artist also didn’t take photos specifically for the exhibit.
"I thought about doing that, but I’m a nostalgic person and part of the joy for me was revisiting my past work," she said.
Boecklin named the exhibit "Postcards" because the subjects run the gamut.
"It works for me as a personality," she said. "I’m not a narrow-down type of person. So the exhibit reflects who I am. Some of the photos are urban, and some of them are rural. It’s just what I do."
There is, however, a theme among the photographs in the sense of style.
"I like to focus on one thing in the image and the background will be blurry," Boecklin explained. "It’s called ‘depth of field’ in photography. So that’s probably a stylistic element you can recognize from my works on a regular basis.
"I thought about doing something more thematic, but I didn’t want to force the issue," she said. "So that’s why I named the exhibit ‘Postcards,’ because then the photos could be about anything."
Boecklin got into photography relatively late in her career. After earning a masters degree from Northwestern University, Boecklin worked in corporate America for a few years before making a change.
"I decided to sell everything, travel to a new place every month and write a book," Boecklin said. "I would do web design in exchange for living in a guest house on the coast of Maine and helped a friend’s father run for governor in Colorado. I also worked at an art gallery in Houston, you know, whatever worked."
One day on a flight to one of her new "homes," Boecklin read about a book called "Polar Obsession" in an in-flight magazine.
"The book was all of these stunning photographs of the poles, and I thought maybe the photographer would want an assistant," she said. "I emailed him and sent him a picture of me wearing flip-flops in the snow, because I never get cold."
The photographer, Paul Nicklen, said he would pay for her flight to his home in Arctic Canada.
"I Googled him and found he was National Geographic’s premiere polar underwater photographer," Boecklin said. "I freaked, because I had first thought he was just some dude who put out a photography book."
During her time working with Nicklen, Boecklin assisted with six stories, the TED2011 event appearance and a new book that’s coming out this year.
"I helped with writing, business connections and was working with him when he received his first National Geographic cover," Boecklin said. "It gave me confidence and he taught me everything to do with photography.
"It was super wild and got to do a lot of amazing things," she said. "He lives on a lake and there is nobody around for miles and miles. In fact, he had a plane to get in and out of the area. I can’t tell you how many bears I ran into while walking the dog."
After a while, Boecklin decided to move on.
"It wasn’t behooving me to spend all my time in Canada and I eventually went to South America, Samoa and New Zealand," she said.
While in South America, Boecklin met photographer Victor Rybovich, who would become her husband.
"He lived in Utah and is the love of my life," she said. "Two things gave me reasons to live — photography and him. We eloped three weeks after we met and I moved to Utah with him."
The two started Park City Photography in 2011 and business has been good.
"I am amazed at how many creative people live here," Boecklin said. "It’s a great place for us to be."
The Kimball Art Center, 638 Park Ave., will exhibit Carla Boecklin’s "Postcards" from May 30 through July 20 in the Garage Gallery. Admission is free. For more information, visit http://www.kimballartcenter.org . For more information about Carla Boecklin and Park City Photography, visit http://www.carlaboecklin.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Park City and Summit County make the Park Record's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Utah Opera | Utah Symphony artists will perform pop-up piano concert at Trailside Park.