First Friday Spotlight: Shannon Claire's Photography at the Black Market
By Joe Younglove
Fresh off shooting the photos for local band The Betties' debut album art, Shannon Claire will show what else she can do with photography this First Friday at The Black Market, 1033 O St.
The 6 to 9 p.m. event will include musical entertainment by local experimental pop outfit The Green Trees, refreshments from Nebraska Brewing Company and food from Emma’s Catering.
Claire’s exhibit consists of 15 to 20 photos, primarily taken during a road trip to California last summer. She said a lot of the show’s photos are desert-themed, and feature an abandoned water park off California’s Route 66 called “Rock-A-Hoola.” Claire said the site appealed to her because she finds it interesting to see how things disintegrate and fall apart, as well as seeing what manages to remain.
Featuring a '50s and '60s theme, the water park was ideal for Claire’s love of creating photos with a vintage look.
A self-proclaimed “Nikon girl,” Claire said she eventually began the habit of “popping in the car and taking random roadtrips with her camera.” Her six-week roadtrip last year, in celebration of her 30th birthday, spawned most of the show’s photos, including a particular favorite taken in the mountains before driving into Arizona.
“There was no one around, and there was a vast sea of sharp cliffs with the sun setting,” she said. “For shots like that, I’ll pull over instantly, or turn around and race back to the spot if needed.”
Claire moved to Lincoln a year and a half ago from California. She began pursuing photography seriously in 2009, after somehow experiencing boredom while living in San Francisco. She describes herself as more of a street photographer, with the goal of capturing people out and about, doing things one might take for granted. Summing it up well, she said, “You don’t realize how awesome some things are sometimes.”
The Black Market show came about after Claire shot a benefit show for 90.3 KRNU, partly organized by Kate Rosenbaum, who invited Claire to show her work at the downtown clothing store.
Claire’s prior art show experience includes a “Festivus Show,” based on an idea from the TV show "Seinfeld." For the show, she photographed random people posing for amusing family portraits. Earlier this year, she coordinated a Kent Bellows Foundation benefit at Omaha’s New BLK Gallery. She regularly coordinates art shows for Lincoln’s Indigo Bridge Café.
“Lincoln has been good to me,” said Claire, who was fortunate enough to find a day job taking photos for a vintage clothing company in College View called Penny Lane.
Her plans to be good to Lincoln in return include launching a website with the purpose of connecting Lincoln and Omaha’s arts communities. Entitled “OMLI Art Connektive,” Claire envisions the site as a place for documenting the arts events of both cities. She’s hoping to find volunteers willing to attend events, take photos and do write-ups for the site.
Claire said her personal website, www.b-sideimages.com , came to life due to her love for music, which she’s been able to combine with her love for photography. Her recent subjects include national acts Ozomatli, Deerhoof, Cake and The Wailers. Local subjects include the aforementioned Betties, The Show is the Rainbow, Powerful Science and Dude Won't Die.
“The idea of B-Side Images is being able to capture the rarities, like with B-side albums,” she said. “The rare and raw qualities of the B-sides are always the best."