One of this year’s additions to Revelstoke’s Art Alleries is a series of abstract photo compositions made with portraits of members of the community.
It’s like the photos are the paint, said Bruno Long, photographer.
Long started by photographing his friend and mentor Rob Buchanan, who introduced Long to Cathy English, who then introduced him to Helen Grace and so it went on until Long had photographed and interviewed 50 members in the community.
In a way, the project is two parts. One is a series of social media posts with the individual photographs and stories and the other is the pieces of art edited together, which is scheduled to be revealed in the alley beside the Sugar Shack on Saturday, Sept. 26.
“These stories are not even close to scratching the surface of what these people have told me in these interviews, but there is only so much room on social media to fill that space,” said Long.
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A Friend of a Friend – Part 40 – Bruce Granstrom In my opinion, humility is a virtue possessed by those people who understand their faults, yet always seek to improve themselves. They are authentic and honest, not only with themselves but with those that surround them. They neither need or seek praise, are confident in their own skin and have no need to compare themselves with others. Humble people make others around them feel comfortable and within minutes of meeting Bruce Granstrom, we are both at ease discussing his life in Revelstoke. Born and raised in Revelstoke, Granstrom is part of a 5th generation family with roots in both Sweden and Germany. While his father never lived in any other place than Revelstoke for his entire life, Granstrom forged his own path after graduating high school, leaving town to get an education at SAIT in Calgary, then moving on to be an electronics technician. Years later, he returned to school at UBC and got a degree in engineering, living and working in Vancouver with his wife. While he didn’t mind the city life, his wife wanted to a change to small-town life and an opportunity came up for both other them, with Bruce getting a job as a hydroelectric engineer for BC Hydro at Mica Dam, a position he held unit his retirement. His love for skiing and hiking was also part of his return to Revelstoke, so he decided to start giving back to the community that had already given him so much. Granstrom began volunteering with the local nordic club and was a Board member and treasurer for 6 years. Due to our isolation, Granstrom believes it has made our community more connected and helpful to our neighbors. “People are quite generous, including businesses, equipment owners and individuals,” he says. “I think that community volunteerism and spirit are still there from long ago.” The soft-spoken Granstrom deflects any praise or idea that he has done anything special to be chosen for the project. Yet his selection by legendary ‘super volunteer’ Al McInnes is enough validation to make his ancestors, as well as all Revelstokians, proud to count this humble man amongst its finest citizens. #afriendofafriend
Long has been working full-time as an action-sports photographer, based in Revelstoke but travelling all over the world. He moved to Revelstoke in 2005 but dabbled with jobs as Powder Springs, the ski hill and Parks Canada before committing full time to photography.
Doing portraiture is very different than what he usually does and Long said it has been a challenge.
“I think it was something I was kind of searching for, a little bit to get away from the ski and bike scene,” he said.
The project has been fulfilling, he said, probably because he has been doing action-sports photography for ten years and anything can get monotonous if you do it for long enough.
Since getting back to his regular job as the portrait project drew to a close, Long said he has been more excited and inspired.
The installation will be in the alley next to the Sugar Shack on 2nd St.
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A Friend of a Friend – Part 1 – Rob Buchanan If you don’t already know who Rob Buchanan is, then you had better pay attention. And if you DO already know Rob Buchanan, you had better still pay attention because you might not know as much about him as you think. When selecting the first person in the ‘Friend of a Friend’ project, I was given the latitude to choose whoever I wanted, picking one person out of so many, to introduce to the community as my friend. When this concept was initially conceived, I wanted people to give some serious thought as to who they might choose, making it a difficult choice for them to only choose one of their many friends. Yet for me, it was an easy choice. As my longtime mentor and close friend, Rob has shaped my life in more ways than he understands. As a constant source of inspiration, able to fill my creative cup with a long conversation over a few drinks or a 2-minute catch up. He is the most creative person I know, with a passion and fervour for the arts that infects everyone around him, tapping into their own creativity and inspiration. He is the catalyst for this change of artistic direction for me, pushing me outside my boundaries, gently leading me towards new endeavours like this project. However, I know that this story isn’t new for many people in town and that Rob’s artistic reach goes well beyond my own interests. And while many of us count Rob as one of our great friends, what do you know about his origin story? We all come from somewhere and knowing the person today means that you should know something about who they were yesterday. 50 years ago, Rob was born in Collingwood, Ontario, an industrial town with a flair for the outdoors, not so different from where he lives today. Growing up, he had an outdoor-focused upbringing that led him to skiing, biking and wind surfing along the shores of Lake Huron. His sense of adventure continued after high school, when he began university but promptly dropped out to spearhead a biking trip with a group of friends from the Caribbean to Colombia, which also happened to be the first time he picked up a camera. After the trip, his passion for photography led him to Victoria for