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Photos, sculptures will be on display

Two new art exhibitions are coming to the Leslie Powell Foundation Gallery this month. 

"Amusement Park Rides" by Tony Grider and "Tripartite: Variations on a Theme" by Bill Boettcher will open with a reception at 7 p.m. on Saturday and remain on display through Dec. 29.

"Amusement Park Rides" is a photography collection by Tony Grider, a part-time mental health therapist who is a self-taught photographer. "Tripartite: Variations on a Theme" is a sculpture collection by Bill Boettcher, a retired biology teacher who has recently been able to pursue his lifelong aspiration of becoming an artist. 

"They both came to me and I thought it was a great time to have them both together," said Matthew Hughes, the gallery's executive director. 

"I haven't done any photography this year and I had been looking specifically for a photographer," Hughes said. "I put out a call on an artists' group on Facebook. Mr. Grider saw that and contacted me. So that worked out well. 

"Bill, I already had him scheduled for November. It seems like so often I get mostly two-dimensional work, paintings and such. I don't usually have a lot of strictly three-dimensional artists, or photographers, so its kind of nice to have them both." 

While the work of the two artists is not thematically related, Hughes said both artists seem to be looking to evoke a range of emotions with their work. 

"It seems like everything I've been showing lately has been paintings," he said, "so I wanted to do something different. I'm definitely excited about it." 

Grider shares Hughes' excitement. 

"I'm really looking forward to it," he said.

For Grider, photography runs in the family.

"My mother gave me a black and white camera as a child, my mom was a photographer, and I had two uncles that had photography as a hobby. I was, of course, influenced by them."

Grider's show will center around photographs he has taken at small amusement parks around the state. The show will include photographs of carousel horses and old plane rides, among others. 

"To me they are nostalgic, they remind me of the innocence of childhood, of happy memories," he said. "I never know when I take these if they are still going to be around tomorrow. I try to preserve them in that way." 

Grider uses several different techniques to soften his photographs and give them a Polaroid quality. Many of the photographs that will be on display are printed on a metallic paper, which Grider says brings out the luster and shine of the metal in the rides. 

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