Harris, a dedicated member of the library board, was instrumental in launching the capital campaign to turn an empty grocery store into a state-of-the-art, ADA-compatible building for McIver's Grant Public Library. Now, just over a year after the library opened its new doors, Harris shares another of her passions with the community.
"I fell in love with the art and craft of photography a few years ago," said Harris. "And during the process, I developed a whole new appreciation for the beauty of this earth we live on."
Harris's exhibit includes photographs featuring an Americana and agriculture theme. From a cow and her calf on a foggy morning titled "Early Breakfast" to an ominous sky threatening an old barn in "It Could Get Ugly," Harris's work pulls the audience in with vibrant colors and amazing clarity.
One print, titled "Royal Couple," earned second place in the botanical category of an international competition boasting over 5,000 entries. The photograph of two elegant poppy seed pods was taken in Okeena Park.
Harris also earned the top prize in another international photography competition. Her entry, "Round, Round, Get Around," (not featured in the library's collection) was chosen as winner over close to 10,000 entries.
Photographs currently featured on the Art Wall are matted and framed in black frames with white mats, allowing the photograph to take center stage and creating a uniform look for the collection.
For Harris, this passion in photography began as a way to share her original dress designs.
"I closed my store, but my intent was to continue to do a blog," said Harris. "I realized the only way to display my dresses was to get a really good photograph of a child wearing one. I decided I needed to learn to do it myself, so I took a photography course just to learn how to do it. I got so caught up with the photography and the post-processing that I have a whole stack of material upstairs that I haven't sewn up yet. It was an accidental passion."
It is a passion that has allowed Harris to explore not only the art of capturing an image on film, but controlling the metamorphosis of that image into a work of art.
"It is more than capturing the moment," said Harris. "I would call myself an art photographer. It's something I just like to do."
Harris began photographing flowers, animals and landscapes. Her finished products, however, resemble paintings. Recently, she ventured into portrait photography and lent her talents to McIver's Grant Public Library's Geek the Library campaign.
"That was an interesting project," said Harris. "It was my first foray into studio lighting. Johnny Hulgan helped me set up. More recently, I have begun to delve into studio photography with a special interest in portraiture, including pet portraits. My favorite tricks and tools include selective focus, motion blur, and the lensbaby. Photoshop, plugins and textures always help me achieve my final vision."
Harris said her portrait photography still leans toward concept photography.
"It has been, maybe, five years ago now that I got into it. I take a lot of online classes. It's a journey. It's just a journey."
The photographs featured on the Art Wall are for sale and priced to sell including the frames and matting. Those interested may inquire at the circulation desk or visit www.carolharrisphotography.com or http://500px.com/carolclarkharris.