Yellow Springs, as seen on Instagram

By Janell R. Ward

Photo: photo: Sandi Sharp

Come see Yellow Springs through the eyes of the community. March 20-April 12, the Yellow Springs Arts Council presents #YSgram, featuring photos of the city of Yellow Springs, as seen by Instagram.

In 1846, after the Little Miami Railroad was completed, and long before the iPhone, Yellow Springs became a booming region for trade and recreation. Today, Yellow Springs is a diverse community with a population consisting of 3,600 people. The village’s unique boutique shops, restaurants and recreational attractions make for interesting photographic choices.

Corinne Bayraktaroglu, the curator of the exhibit, speaks about the inspiration behind the event.

“A year ago my husband gave me an iPhone,” she remembers. “I joined Instagram and noticed that there were several Yellow Springs people involved. So we started all hashtagging the ‘ysgram’ with photos from Yellow Springs. I thought it would be fun to showcase photographs from around Yellow Springs by Yellow Springs photographers.”

The idea of #YSgram is to bring together the community. “I like to focus on community more than individuality so I wanted it to be a group exhibit,” Bayraktaroglu explains.

Amy Hable, who came up with the name #YSgram, explains more of what the hashtags mean. “The hashtags created on Instagram are little communities where photographers tag their shots based on what community you want to have them viewed by,” she says. “Since Yellow Springs is such a tourist town, all the hashtags for the village mainly consisted of pictures by tourists.”

Hable wants to help those who are tourists in Yellow Springs see the beauty of the village through the eyes of those who live there.

“It’s a way to show off the village from a different view, an insider’s view,” Hable says. “So, generally speaking, the #YSgram shots have a different feel to them.”

Whether you enjoy a flare of color in a photograph or classic black and white shots, you’ll see photos presented in a number of different styles.

“It’s a perspective of Yellow Springs from different angles,” Bayraktaroglu says. “Some people might focus on the street shots, while others focus on graffiti, or the other things people might not notice – decay, the hidden things.”

Many different photographers will be featured at the #YSgram event.

“I picked people that have not displayed their work very often,” Bayraktaroglu says. “They are not on the circuit. A lot of their work is unknown but the photography on Instagram is absolutely gorgeous. I wanted the community to see what is on Instagram by people they don’t know. We are featuring some of the most interesting photos. It’s always surprising to look at what people come up with. Talitha Greene’s focus is on nature; she takes the most amazing photos of the birds. Sandi Sharp takes close up photos of things.”

Steve Alli’s experimental angle shots and Amy Hable’s urban style photos will also be on display.

Sandi Sharp, who has been a professional artist for over 20 years, will be one of the featured photographers at the #YSgram. Her work has been featured in private collections in South Africa, America and Canada.

“I like to photograph interesting shapes and textures and compose the image to show an overall specific gesture,” she says. “I am interested in capturing rhythm. I enjoy black and white photos because they are so poetic and filled with ambience; they showcase the image without the beautiful but sometimes distracting personality of color.”

One of Sharp’s showcased photos is “Charlye’s Globe.”

“This is of a little sculpture a man, my man actually, made featuring a swirling glass globe that belonged to his mother,” Sharp explains. “It reminds me of a figurehead on a ship confidentially leading the vessel past the bowing branch.”

Sharp’s “Coyote Bridge” reveals rare trees and unique bark, and “Respite” reveals a hidden sanctuary. “This is an abandoned outdoor theatre in the woods behind the community center. Beautiful spot. Imaginative place,” Sharp says.

Photographs will be available for purchase during the exhibition.

#YSgram runs from March 20 – April 12. An opening reception will be held March 20 from 6-9 p.m. at the YS Arts Council Gallery located at 111 Corry St. Gallery opening hours are Wed-Sunday 1-4 p.m. To learn more about #YSgram, please visit ysartscouncil.org.

Reach DCP freelance writer Janell R. Ward at JanellRWard@DaytonCityPaper.com

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