The Mid-Valley PhotoArts Guild

     The beginnings of the PhotoArts Guild can be traced to 1985, when a small group of photographers began meeting twice a month in Corvallis to share their passion for their art with others. They met not only to discuss aesthetic and technical issues, but also to explore methods of broadening the community's exposure to fine art photography. They soon acted on their resolve by inaugurating an on-going, rotating exhibit of members' work at a local café.
     By reaching out individually to other photographers, their circle gradually grew to include about 20 men and women from Corvallis, Albany, and surrounding towns. Realizing a responsibility to assume a larger role in the community, they formally organized into a guild in 1988, adopted a charter and affiliated themselves with the Corvallis Arts Center. The guild publishes a monthly newsletter, promotes an active exhibition program and organizes field trips and presentations for its members, which number about 35. In addition, the organization has gradually taken on a variety of community activities, including offering workshops, collaborating with other photography groups on exhibits, and participating in the annual da Vinci Days Festival.
     Membership is open by invitation to men and women living in the Mid-Willamette Valley who are interested in the practice and promotion of photographic arts and techniques. Members pay $20 annual dues.

     *In January 1990, the PAG organized an invitational exhibit at the Benton County Historical Museum in Philomath. In the summer of that year, the PAG participated in an "exhibit exchange" with the PhotoZone photographers' cooperative in Eugene. As a result, PhotoZone was represented in the Humanities Gallery at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany while PAG members displayed their juried photographs at the PhotoZone Gallery in downtown Eugene.

     *In the summer of 1991, the group taught a series of weekend photography workshops open to the community that focused on a wide range of beginning to advanced photographic techniques and concerns.

     *In 1992, the group organized the Not Necessarily Silver Photography Show, a major regional exhibit in the Theatre Gallery of the Corvallis Arts Center that drew photographers from throughout the Northwest.

     * In 1993, the guild brought more of its photography to the community by participating in the annual Corvallis Fall Festival.

     * During the mid-1990s guild membership increased. The guild continued to promote photographic education and practice by hosting guest speakers, member critiques and field trips. Topics often focused on changes occurring in photography from new digital media.

     *In 1998, the group organized the State of Oregon Photography show, an invitational exhibit at the Corvallis Arts Center.

     *In 1999, the PhotoArts Guild and the PhotoZone Gallery in Eugene hung a joint exhibit at the Guistina Gallery in the LaSells Stewart Center.

     *In November/December of 2001, the guild organized and mounted a collaborative exhibit with local poets called "Mary's Peak: Sentinel of the
Coast Range" at the Guistina Gallery, and published a catalog of the photographs and poetry in the exhibit.

     *In 2003, the guild is planning another major photographic exhibition to be hung at the Guistina Gallery at the OSU LaSells Center.