The Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center (Wikipedia)
The Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center (Wikipedia)

Athens Photographic Project Exhibit Opens at Dairy Barn

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The Athens Photographic Project’s annual juried exhibition, Life in Focus, opened at the Dairy Barn Arts Center on Friday, showcasing the work of 40 artists who are using photography as a means for mental health recovery.

Founded in 2000, the Athens Photographic Project is a nonprofit organization in Southeast Ohio that strengthens mental health recovery by providing individuals with the opportunity to engage in self-discovery, creative expression and community contribution through the arts.

Each year the APP provides 30 weeks of community-based photography classes at introductory and advanced levels; hosts an annual juried exhibition; promotes artwork in state and national exhibitions; and operates a member-run exhibit at The Market on State.

By integrating the arts and mental health recovery, APP artists discover identity, confidence, and hope while contributing to mental health awareness and to the arts.

“The annual exhibition showcases the amazing creativity, skill, and insight of the Athens Photographic Project artists, and we are so grateful that the community appreciates their work and their lives, by attending exhibitions such as this. The artwork on view at the Dairy Barn Arts Center was created as part of our 30-week photography program that serves 40 participating artists each week,” said APP director Nate Thomson.

According to Thomson, each of the APP artists has two photographs in the exhibit. He said artists were asked to select their five favorite pieces. Juror Roger May, documentary photographer who recently started the Looking at Appalachia: 50 Years after the War on Poverty project, then narrowed the selections down to two per artist.

The Athens Photographic Project, which is open to residents from Athens, Hocking and Vinton Counties, is popular and actually has a waiting list of 30 people to join. Thomson said the program hopes to expand to include 54 individuals this August.

The juried exhibition will be on display at the Dairy Barn Arts Center through Friday, May 15. The Athens Photographic Project also has a display in the main hallway of The Market on State. The photographs are changed quarterly.

For information about the Athens Photographic Project, visit