Opus Sees the Big Picture

Posted by on October 1, 2013 at 12:27 pm.

When you are introduced to 12×12 for the first time, you are likely to only see photography. But as the many photo marathoners who have participated over the years will tell you, it is so much more than that. As you slowly zoom out, what begins to enter the frame is creativity, spontaneity, perseverance, friendship, teamwork, and community all revolving around a common interest in the art of photography. This is what Opus Art Supplies had the vision to see all those years ago when a crazy Viking sailed in with tales of artistic conquests. Morten Rand-Hendriksen has now led five successful thematic explorations, with many talented adventurers awarded for their valiant efforts with riches that only Opus can bestow.

OPUS Art Supplies LogoFive years is a very long time. That is how long we’ve been running the 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon and exactly how long Opus has been a major supporter. We’ve developed such a great bond with this local company that to be quite honest, we don’t know if we would want to continue this tradition without our long-time partner. You’d be hard-pressed to find another company that lends as much support to the same customer base that it generates its business from. That’s because Opus too, sees the big picture. Community matters, especially in the arts.

Crissy Arseneau Helping out at the 2013 12x12 Vancouver Photo Marathon

Our long-time friend Crissy Arseneau from Opus helping out at the 2013 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon: (L) Revealing Theme 3: Far Away So Close and (R) Posing as a Model for Jackie Dives’ Interpretation of It

Growing with Opus has been fun, even educational. Always in tune with industry developments, their product line is always evolving to meet the latest demands. That is why our prizing also changes year to year. When something new is available, our winners always benefit from being one of the first to enjoy it. The highlight of 2013 is the introduction of Facemounting. Similar to an Aluminum Composite Mounted print (as in the last two Raw Talent exhibits), Facemounting prints are also raised from the wall to create a floating appearance. The difference is that Facemounted images are printed on gloss photo paper and mounted directly to plexi. This adds an unparalleled vibrancy to images. Colours pop, making two-dimensional images spring to life. Black and white photos, especially those with a variety of grey and white tones, are lent a level of depth that can make a flat image feel almost three dimensional.

To showcase the potential of Facemounting, we checked out an exhibit by an Opus customer that took advantage of it the moment it became available. Here is a feature on Yuichi Takasaka, who is currently enjoying an exhibit at Art Beatus that features an incredible body of work on the Aurora Borealis.

Yuichi’s passion for photography began when he came to Vancouver on a working holiday at age 20, but his move to Yellowknife in the early 90s marked the moment when that passion took on inspiration. Having had his first glimpse of the Aurora Borealis during a visit to Jasper in Alberta, he knew he was in the ideal place to continue his studies with the natural phenomenon. “You can get well over 200 nights of northern lights there every year,” he says. With these strange “Lights” as his muse, Yuichi honed his skills at capturing them by night while working for a Japanese tour company promoting them by day. What resulted were award-winning images so stunning that they have been featured in exhibitions worldwide, as well as in a variety of publications and websites, including that of NASA.

Northern Lights by Yuichi Takasaka

One of the stunning photos by Yuichi Takasaka, currently on exhibit until October 18th at Art Beatus

For 7 years Yuichi lived in Yellowknife experimenting with different photographic techniques and now based in Lumby, BC, he still goes back annually to lead photography tours to shoot new variations of the Lights. It is a very rare thing indeed for most of us to witness the Northern Lights, but you can experience all its vivid details and transformative colours at Fires in the North, exhibited now until October 18th at Art Beatus. Check it out and get a preview of the prizes that await our 12×12 winners at Raw Talent 2013 on October 12th at the Scotiabank Dance Centre.

Thanks to Opus, winners of each theme will have their work printed at 10″x15″ on Arches Velin Paper and framed with custom-cut snow white mats in 13″x19″ Opus BOD Wide Frames in white. The top 4 winning images (Best Series, Best Photo, and runner-ups for both) will be printed at 24″x36″ and mounted for display using the latest addition to the Opus Fine Art Digital Printing Service, Facemounting. All the boards on which each of our 60 marathoners will have their images mounted are also provided by Opus this year, which is a tremendous help. Without their loyal support, there would be no exhibit to showcase. This is a company that cares about the causes it backs. Some of you had the joy of meeting Crissy (pictured above) at the marathon. Without her cheering us on every year, 12×12 would still be just a crazy Viking’s tall tale.

Raw Talent Exhibit by John Biehler

Photo by: John Biehler

As much as we’d like to wish it, ours isn’t the only project that enjoys being in the Opus spotlight. There are many non-profit organizations that also benefit. So many in fact, that this post would be a book before we covered them all, which is kind of amazing! When asked why Opus continues to support 12×12, this is what they had to say:

“Opus is committed to supporting the visual arts in BC. It’s one of the ways we contribute to the communities that, in turn, support our business. When we introduced Fine Art Digital Printing as a service at Opus, that support grew to include the photographic community.

The 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon embodies the kind of event that we aim to sponsor – a non-profit organization working to enhance the visual arts and that does so by engaging the community. It’s exciting to play a part in an event like 12×12, to see the photographers embracing and creatively pushing through the limits set on marathon day, and to then share with them in the art that results at the exhibit. The participants and the people that support their work by attending the Raw Talent Exhibition are our customers – they are the creative individuals that both shop at and work at our stores, the reason why we choose to provide the kind of products and services we do, and why we work everyday to evolve our business to continue to meet their needs.

So, while 12×12 has been incredibly gracious in thanking Opus for our support, we also offer our thanks to you. To Angela, Morten, and the volunteers that work to put 12×12 on, the businesses that offer sponsorship, the photographers that participate in 12×12, and all those who attend the exhibition, we thank you for providing the visual arts community with this outstanding event.”

We think we’ve got a keeper here. Yes, five years is a long time. Perhaps it’s time to pop the big question ;o)

Opus Big Picture Logo

Submission Dates:
October 01 – 10, 2013

Now put yourself in the Opus Big Picture! Our wonderful sponsor has just launched its first ever photo event that is very much in tune with 12×12. You are invited to interpret the theme “Red, Yellow, Blue,” but in the medium of digital photography. You are more than welcome to shoot in film, of course. You simply have to convert it to a digital format for entry.

Images are to be taken and submitted online during the first 10 days of October: Tuesday, October 1 to Thursday, October 10, 2013. Three images will be selected to be reproduced by the Opus Fine Art Digital Printing Service and exhibited in all Opus stores. Winners will receive a copy of their digital print too! Look for complete details and submission criteria at any Opus location, in their October Visual Arts Newsletter, or online. Do us proud, guys!

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