Gallery to feature Katz’s photo art
Rick Katz poses in front of his work at the Lincolnwood Village Hall November 19, 2012. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 30, 2012 6:05AM
LINCOLNWOOD — The nature-themed photographic art of Lincolnwood photographer Rick Katz will be featured in the village of Lincolnwood’s art gallery through Dec. 28, starting with a meet-and-greet public reception from 5 -7 p.m. Dec. 4 at Village Hall.
The photographs featured in Katz’s art show, titled “The Petrified Forest,” were shot during a recent trip last year to the Petrified Forest National Park in northeastern Arizona, where Katz and his wife, Judy, served as artists-in-residence as part of a National Park Service program.
Starting with a simple box camera at age 10, Katz has enjoyed photography as a hobby for most of his life. Several years ago, when he retired from a 25-year-long career working in acquisitions and management with the Jewish Federation of Metro Chicago, he started focusing on developing his talents full-time.
To capture his subjects, most of which are focused on nature scenes in the southwestern portion of the United States, the 27-year Lincolnwood resident travels three or four months out of the year to picturesque places like Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park, Yellowstone in California and the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
A photography teacher at Richard Stromberg’s Chicago Photography Classes in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood, Katz spent two weeks living in the park and taking photos with the goal of portraying the beauty and majesty of the southwest through his own eyes.
“It gives me a chance to portray people and things for viewers who wouldn’t normally be able to see them, and it’s about giving others an experience they wouldn’t have had otherwise,” Katz said. “Hopefully people will see and enjoy the greatness of our country and take in the abstract art that some of the close-ups of the petrified wood provide,” Katz said.
Sometimes choosing to travel alone, and other times taking a group of nature-enthused photographers along with him, Katz embarks on weeks-long journeys throughout scenic and often remote regions of southwestern states to capture his art.
“On one trip, I traveled 8,800 miles in 25 days,” Katz said. “We go to out-of-the-way places so we aren’t fighting for shots with the other tourists.”
Katz grew up in Connecticut before leaving his home state to travel around the world, eventually living in more than 40 different countries with his wife. He moved from his then-home in Israel to Lincolnwood more than two decades ago after being selected for the job with the federation.
Katz’s work has been shown in several Chicago area venues as well as in San Francisco; New York; Santa Barbara, Calif.; Seattle; Flagstaff, Ariz., and in the Petrified Forest National Park Collection.