Fresno Regional Foundation is proud to display the work of local artists at our office. If you wish to learn more about these artists or how you can purchase their work, please follow the links to the artists' website.

Tamela Ryatt and Karen Johnston

 Friday, June 17, 2011
"Faces of India" is a personal journey of human discovery brought to you through the lens of photographer, Tamela Ryatt.

When asked about her 2007 trip to India, Tamela said," The first time I went to India, I was amazed by the beauty, color and textures. I knew before I left that I would have to return."

Tamela Ryatt embarked upon her second journey to India in 2010. Her primary objective during that trip was to connect with individuals she encountered and capture the essence of their humanity through her lens. Enchanting, intense and uniquely personal, Tamela has brought this vision to life. This exhibition is a collection of works from her second trip and is a testament and celebration of her success. "I find the faces of India compelling. They embody so much emotion. Their facial expressions and the beauty within their eyes enchant me. Then, of course, there are the fabulous adornments.."

Traveling in a country whose language you do not know can be daunting for some world travelers but, for the most part, Tamela found it easy to connect through smiles, gestures and sharing views of her photography with her subjects. However, the language barrier and her goal of "two fabulous portraits per day" did eventually collide. " I was traveling with a driver who was supposed to speak English and the local languages. It was near sunset and the lighting was perfect. We came upon two women walking through a blooming mustard field. I asked our driver to stop and get permission to take their picture. He spoke to them then told me to go ahead. When I stepped out of the car and raised my camera, one of the women pulled a dagger from her hip and began to chase me while screaming maniacally. Naturally, I ran back to the car screaming 'Go!' while I jumped in. When I gave him an incredulous look, he merely shrugged his shoulders. To this day I am not sure if he even her language or if he was trying to get me killed!"

When Tamela is not traveling, she is keeping the tradition of black and white photography alive, teaching at Sunnyside High School. Tamela has also established herself as a portrait artist in the foothills north of Clovis. She utilizes the seasons on her property as an ever changing backdrop.

About Karen
“Sculpting with metal is violent and dangerous. Molten steel, flying metal particles and a torch flame test the flesh daily. My art requires all of my strength, patience, and surprising subtlety. I can’t imagine anything more rewarding.”

Steel dominates Karen Johnston’s thoughts, time and artistic expression. Since childhood Johnston has expressed her imagination with pencil, acrylic, oil and fused glass creations. In 1995 she discovered metal as an artistic medium and began a passionate and prolific body of work.

The natural world is the catalyst for Johnston’s material—from the spartan cacti of New Mexico to the lush botanicals of Hawaii and Florida, and most especially the diverse and whimsical creatures who inhabit her San Joaquin Valley hillside property. Johnston reciprocates for this inspiration by incorporating art into her daily life. In addition to her fine art pieces, she sculpts chairs, benches, tables and gates. For Johnston, any practical object is worthy of her creativity.

While much of her work is housed in private collections, Johnston’s public commissions include installations at The California Cancer Center and Sierra Endocrine & Associates Medical Group, in Fresno, California and Table Mountain Casino in Friant, California.

About Tamela:

"From sublime Peruvian faces, urban fashion environs to bold slashes of tropical color, Tamela Ryatt’s photography is a wild ride through varied styles and emotions. Exotic journeys to Mexico, Africa, India, Peru and others often serve as a background for Ryatt’s captivating, and strikingly beautiful photography. The simplicity of forms and vibrancy of color that dominate Buddhist art find their way into her visual vocabulary.”

Fresno Magazine

Tamela Ryatt began her pursuits of photography in the early 80’s as the yearbook photographer at her high school and then traveled to Europe the summer she graduated and return home with images that were instinctively artful. After a year of consideration and general studies, she declared Art as her major and focused on photography.

While working on her bachelor’s degree, Tamela took a job photographing for a couple of local newspapers and found that she was being asked by local merchants to make images for their advertisements and marketing. Work progressed and through the 90’s Ryatt found a niche that she excelled at and found her images published in magazines and winning prestigious awards with the submission of the photographs she would take for her interior design clients.

Ryatt also loves to share her passion for photography with others, which led her to a teaching career at Sunnyside High School where she has been bringing the traditional art and technique of black and white photography to more than 200 students every semester for the past 10 years.

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