Photographs of Kelly Heck on display in Westminster


Local Westminster Maryland artist Kelly Heck to feature her photographic series “Beautiful Silence,” at an exhibition at Off Track Art in Westminster

by Kevin Dayhoff

May 5, 2011

Beautiful Silence”. a photo-essay by local Westminster award-winning artist, photographer, and web designer Kelly Heck, is the subject of an exhibition at Off Track Art in historic downtown Westminster during the months of May and June.

According to Heck, the photographic series “is about experiencing true peace, illustrated through landscapes taken in and around the Carroll County, Maryland area.”

Photography by Kelly Heck - Beautiful Silence

Heck’s carefully structured photographs in the exhibition belie a strong classical foundation in the artistic fundamentals of the marriage of art and photography

Featuring stark contrasts found in winter the snow-covered landscape scenes and natural still-lifes are certainly wordless, but anything but silent. The images of snow and winter paradoxically and softly tell a warm story in their own voices, without words, using their quiet, soft – inside voices – if you will…

In one photograph, a snow-covered field is bisected by a fence line that features the winter-lined silhouette of a tree. The tree almost appears animated as it speaks, on behalf of the fence, to the audience of the crop field in the foreground.

Heck, according to her website, http://www.kellyheckphotography.com/, “is most passionate about creative portraiture and shooting on location. Her goal is to create scenes that are unnatural by intensifying vibrant colors and textures from the environment and her subjects…”

Photography by Kelly Heck - Beautiful Silence

Heck has received a number of awards for her art and photography. In 2007, Heck’s “Bird Series” won second place in the PDNedu Competition and was published in PDNedu Magazine. It also won third place in the 62nd CPOY, College Photographer Of The Year, and was published on the cover of SCAD’s annual Silver & Ink publication.

In an explanation of “Beautiful Silence,” Heck explains in her artist statement, “If you haven’t tried it yet, venture outside during the next snowfall. Wait until a few inches have settled on the ground. You will have to remove yourself from noise. Escape from civilization; voices, home, business, traffic, machinery, phones, music ‐ any human sound.

“Surround yourself with nature. Find a spot with the snow falling around you. A wooded area is especially perfect, removing you from harsh, cool winds that whistle by your ears. Stand motionless and breathe deeply. Quietly. Allow the tranquility to fill you up. Close your eyes, if you wish, and enjoy being removed from it all.

“Slowly and surely, you will find that even though you have escaped the sound of humanity, it is not silent. Everyone is at home, safe and warm from the dangers of icy roads.

“Even the wildlife has somewhat settled. All you hear is the gentle clicking of snow falling to the ground. It is an elegant, comforting noise, a retreat from days filled with commotion. Breathe softly. This beautiful silence can so easily soothe your mind into a meditative state of utter relaxation.

“In this moment, you can forget your worries and focus only on your center of gravity. This is true peace, and the most genuine I have ever found.”

Photography by Kelly Heck - Beautiful Silence

Heck earned her BFA in photography as a result of her studies at the Savannah College of Art & Design, in Savannah, Georgia. Her interest in fine art grew into a concentration of photography at an early age, and she has practiced it as a career ever since.

She currently applies her artistic training and has put her education to work at InfoPathways Inc.  at the corner of Green and Liberty Street, in Westminster.

This is certainly convenient for Heck for showing at Off Track Art, a local artist cooperative which is located in the same block, at the side entrance of 11 Liberty Street, right beside the railroad tracks off the Sentinel parking lot.

An opening night reception for Heck and her work will be held this Friday May 6th, 2011, from 5:30-7:30 p.m at 11 Liberty Street, in Westminster.

The show will remain on exhibition through June 25th. Off Track Art is open Wednesday through Friday 12:00-6:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00-5:00 p.m. For more information call 443 340 6317.

Other exhibiting artists at Off Track Art include Mary Decker, Kevin Dayhoff, Gail Elwell, Linda Van Hart, Judy Goodyear, Charlotte Laslo, Cathy Sawdey, Gordon Wickes, Robert Waddell, Pamela Zappardino, Phil Grout, and Carolyn Seabolt. Off Track Art may be found online at http://www.offtrackart.org/.

The writer, Kevin Dayhoff, along with photojournalist Phil Grout, also exhibit their work at Off Track Art and work for the Carroll Eagle http://www.explorecarroll.com/ and Patuxent Publishing Company.

Thursday, May 5, 2011