By PHIL NOBILE
What you may see as normal, or may not even see at all, can swiftly be focused or altered into something more.
This is the philosophy of local photographer Tina Link, whose “Collection of Photographs” is up for display and sale at the Harrison Public Library this month. Link, who has been a Har-rison resident for 15 years, boasts a collection of photographs featuring elements of light, shadow and shape throughout various well known and unknown locales.
“When I’m with my camera, I’m in a different mode,” Link said. “I’m looking for those images, looking for the light, the shadows, the textures, the shapes and the forms. I’m looking for those elements of design which inform me the most.”
The collection, which will remain available for public viewing until Feb. 25, is part of a monthly artist series the library hosts, according to library director Galina Chernykh.
“We are the center of the community—not just for books, but as an intellectual center,” Chernykh said. “It is very important for the cultural exchange in our community. These exhibits end up being a wonderful relationship between local artists and our library.”
Link’s roots in photography began from her college years at Ohio University. As an Ohio native, Link was given a camera by her uncle, who didn’t know how to use it, and, after snapping photos on her campus, she ventured into the fine arts field.
Link continued to keep photography prominent in her life, working various jobs pertaining to the camera, such as medical photography. She then decided to pursue a landscape architecture degree, leading her to the Rhode Island School of Design.
“It was another passion of mine,” Link said, referring to landscaping. “I think I follow what I feel I can genuinely do, so I jumped from photography to landscape design.”
It wasn’t until the recent recession that Link got back into photography as a primary passion, and began taking many of the photos seen in her collection at the library, which also serves as her first solo show.
Link submitted her work in May 2013 along with more than 60 other desired artists for the chance have their own show at the Harrison Public Library this year.
“We have a special juried arts program once a year,” Chernykh said. “Local artists submit their work to [the Harrison Council for the Arts], who decide who will be on exhibit for the whole year.”
Many of Link’s photos are instantly recognizable locations—Rye’s Playland Park, Grand Central Station, the Freedom Tower and more—but Link puts a noticeable spin on the locations, adding a blurred or focused effect that centers on a specific aspect of the known places.
“I enjoy finding a small element within a larger element, and making the smaller element its own object,” Link said. “It’s like looking at a whole scene and zeroing in on one detail, and making that its own subject matter.”
Many of her pieces also play on contrasting colors in natural settings, and often draw the abstract out of the normal.
As for photography, Link views the art as an important part of her daily life. For her, the experience of photography, particularly as an art medium, is extremely important.
“It’s really how you feel and the expression that comes across,” Link said. “Everyone is a photographer, but it doesn’t take away from the fine art of photography. It’s about what you do with it and how you feel when you’re taking the pictures.”
Link’s photography is just one of 12 exhibits expected throughout this year at the library. For more information on exhibits and viewing times—and information on having your work shown at the library next year—visit harrisonpl.org.