By BOBBIE GREEN
The Virgin Valley Artist Association completed its first-ever Artist-in-Residence program at the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery last week.
Visual artist and photographer Larry Burton has spent the entire past week teaching five photography classes for beginners in the gallery’s classroom. Interest in the program was so great that the Association had to add a class to the program to accommodate more participants.
Burton is from Carson City, Nevada, where he has an outdoor adventure photography business and is a Nevada Arts Council-certified art teacher.
“I have a particular interest in teaching in rural Nevada because (rural residents) don’t have as many opportunities as those in the Las Vegas and Reno areas,” Burton said.
The workshops were funded by an Arts Learning Project grant that the VVAA recently received in the amount of $3,500. The grant was written through the efforts of Linda Harris. The grant was sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Nevada Arts Council
Specializing in entry-level photography with an emphasis on using simple equipment, Burton has learned to get the most out of point-and-shoot cameras and smartphone cameras.
The classes were full, the students were very attentive to the instructor and had many questions; each of them was patiently answered.
Burton showed several of his photos in his instructions and explained how he made them. He talked about copyright laws, how he uses and sells his work, and how others sell theirs. He also talked about all the things a person can do with just a phone camera.
Before embarking on a career as a photographer, Burton was a wildlife enthusiast, working for the California and Nevada state forest services.
Burton didn’t just teach the adult community, he also made time to visit Virgin Valley High School’s art classes. Burton visited the four VVHS art classes and gave a presentation to the students there.
“It was a great opportunity for the students,” said VVHS art teacher Tyler Roylance. “They don’t often get hands-on input from an experienced craftsman with practical knowledge.”
Burton said he was impressed with the VVHS program. “I was impressed with Mr. Roylance and the diversity he shows children with his art programs. He’s a great instructor. »
Burton said his experience at Mesquite and with the VVAA was excellent. “I work with many artists associations and I think the VVAA is on par with all the others I have worked with,” he said. “I’m pretty impressed with them.”
On the day the class was to have a filming on location, it rained. Their choice of locations was therefore limited.
But the class did live shots in the gallery and museum area. The students were able to capture the dramatic stormy sky.
“Capturing spectacular skies is exciting for me,” Burton said.
Elisabeth Sorenson participated in one of the courses. “I thought the course was very interesting and informative,” she said. “I would come back to take more classes if offered.”