When many of us think of photography, we think of family portraits or random shots at backyard parties. However, professional photography is an art form of its own.
Daryl Meek, photographer and owner of Digital Artscape, in Hillsborough will be debuting never before seen artistic photos at the HAT Tavern in Summit on Monday, May 7, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The show will feature over 20 of his original works, including a special exhibit of photos of the NJ coastline.
“A wall of the exhibit is dedicated to photos from the Jersey shore. Most of the photos were taken in New Jersey–all East Coast,” commented professional photographer for over 12 years, Daryl Meek. “It’s a gallery of photos I know people will enjoy. I’m including some of my personal favorites. It’s all very much an extension of me. These images are things I see every day.”
“I drove down to Seagirt and drove along the coastline. As a photographer, especially someone who focuses on New Jersey, this is something you must see. To see the coastline in the off-season was really cool because I know what the shore is like when the tourists are there. But you get to see things you would otherwise not notice – to see things that would be overlooked because the people in the summer distract from the surroundings. In the off-season you notice more detail.”
Meek doesn’t work in a studio. He says that the world is his studio. Once he was asked if he wanted to open a studio. His response was, “Why? You’re standing in it!”
Using the world as his studio brought his photos to the attention of ABC News, when they used some of his before and after photos from Manville on their website, showing the flooding when Hurricane Irene came through.
In addition to being a professional photographer, Meek is a craft beer blogger, which makes the debut of his show at the HAT Tavern even more appropriate. HAT Tavern features 14 taps, most of which are craft beers. Mark Giangiulio, manager of the Grand Summit Hotel, and Walter Curtis, manager of the HAT Tavern, which is located inside of the hotel, saw one of Meek’s photos on Twitter and fell in love with it. Giangiulio said it was the best photo he’d ever seen. He was interested in having Meek debut his work at the tavern, not only because he liked it, but because the location was a great fit for Meek’s affinity with craft beers.
“The fact that the majority of my work is Jersey-centric only adds to the many reasons HAT Tavern and my work are such a great pairing,” added Meek. In addition, all of the printing is being handled locally by small businesses in Somerset county.
In order to gain admission to this event, you can print out free tickets at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/3361876463/efbnen. Ticket holders will be entitled to two craft beers on the house, plus the ability to enjoy free cheese and cold antipasto displays, while viewing 25 pieces of photographic art in the gallery. Only 100 free tickets are available; first come, first serve.
All of the framed prints will be available for sale. Every frame has been custom built by South Carolina woodworker and craftsman, Marvin Meek, and is made from reclaimed wood, which just adds to the originality and value of the images.
“The frames themselves are works of art. Every frame is designed to enhance the photograph,” commented Meek.
Some of the never-before-seen photos are beer and tavern related. There will be a mix of abstract, still life, canvas, black and white and color photography. The subjects range from cars, mills, and landscapes, to sunsets. There’s a lot of variety.
Meek shared that some will be printed with a metallic sheen, so a print can reflect light and can look one way in the morning and another way in the afternoon, depending on how the light hits it. He also pushed the limits with large format. One of the largest images in the show is of the truck, featured in one of the photos with this article, and measures 45 inches by 68 inches. However, if you don’t have the room to display something that large, there will be a mix of sizes available for purchase.
Meek enjoys photographing kids, cars, animals and anything abandoned.
“I shoot everything from architecture to family portraits. I take people out to locations, especially when kids or pets are involved. The only way to get meaningful shots is for me to keep shooting and for people to have fun.”
One of his favorite photographs, which will not be in the gallery, is of a mother and father and their little girl with two pugs. The little girl and the dogs were all sticking their tongues out at the same time. This is the kind of non-typical, fun photography that Meek enjoys capturing the moment of.
If you are not able to attend the first gallery showing on May 7, all of the artwork will be on display at the HAT Tavern for several weeks, and you may view it at your leisure. So if you’re looking for a delicious lunch or an evening out, stop by HAT Tavern and enrich your day with an artistic experience.
“I can tell you the food is great, too,” promotes Meek. “[When I ordered a burger], it was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had.”
To find out more information about the “One Man Show at the HAT Tavern”, you can view the event on Facebook, or on Digital Artscape’s website. Free tickets are available at Eventbrite. You can also follow Daryl Meek on Twitter @Hepcat75