5 Photographs in the Big Little Show at Columbia City Gallery

Fort Ebby BeachThis photograph (Fort Ebey State Beach) and four others will be in the Columbia City Gallery’s “Big Little Show.” A show centered on art that measures less than 12 x 12 inches.

Each of my images measures no more than 8in x 8in. with a frame size of 12in x 12in. All images are printed as shot except for Cactus, which was manipulated in photoshop. 

Here’s why (from my Artist’s Statement): Photography feeds into my writing and writing feeds into photography. I strive for simple, unadorned images and sentences. In fact, none of the images here have been manipulated in any way, except for Cactus, CA. Every once in awhile you have to throw in an effect in writing as in photography to achieve what you need for the whole.

Please stop by between now and the middle of January to see my photography and the work of many other fine artists.



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I always draw inspiration for writing and solitude from the mountains. My work is rife with mountain imagery and water.

Today’s excursion to Twin Falls in the Central Cascades was no different. A glorious day and abundant water made the falls spectacular. Lucky I brought the big camera to take some photos.

The Marsh

Round Lake is more of a marsh this time of year, which is just east of Seattle and is a heavily traveled area, but you can find solace on days that aren’t overtly beautiful which tames the crowds.

This image, to me, is calming, but also denotes change, from the colors of the grass and water to how the sun was intermittently scattering itself across the landscape. From one moment to the next, this marsh looked utterly different. It’s a bit like writing a sentence, really, you keep changing it until it shines, each word folding into the next to evoke meaning.

Here, in the marsh, the small ponds will become a lake over the next few months, and then in the summer, the marsh slowly returns, bringing its ochres, deep greens and blues until fall lets everything rest, if only for a while.

Columbia City Gallery 7th Annual Juried Exhibit

I’m very excited to be included in this show. I do hope you can stop by the reception or during the show’s run to see my work and all of the other artists. Here is the Artist’s Statement for the show they asked for:

Tom Schabarum

Many years ago, the Poet, Jason Shinder, asked me if I was a photographer after he’d read a selection of my poems. He said, “your poems are very visual.” I was surprised, but laughed a little, and told him no, that I had been taking pictures all my adult life, but that I didn’t pursue it either as a hobby or professionally. I was studying at Bennington in their MFA Writing Seminars to become a better writer.

Years later, I find myself delving deeper into photography because I’ve always been drawn to it since I was young, and now I had the time to pursue it more as a hobby. I’m drawn to melancholic imagery, moods, and the struggle between positive and negative space, and what is in each, or not, that contributes to the image’s story.

For me, it can’t just be a pretty picture. It has to say something, or present a feeling to the viewer. Just as in writing, the smallest detail illuminates an entire chasm within a character, or sets in motion actions that have consequences.

Here the detail of the traffic cone – what we view as a warning – makes for a sort of story in and of itself. What has happened here to cause someone to put a traffic cone on top of a piling?

Or the empty diving boards on the abandoned piers, strung together, away from harm’s way and winter storms. What was once lively in summer isn’t. What was once summer’s joy is now a memory.

These are two of a series of photographs taken in and around Seward Park near my home. It’s an endlessly fascinating park that is constantly changing. These are my first exhibited photographs, which is very exciting. Thanks to the judges, Columbia City Gallery, and the people of Rainier Valley that make life here so interesting.

You can find my writing at www.tomschabarum.com or follow all things arts-related on my blog called Word Incident at tschabarum.wordpress.com

2 Photographs Selected for Exhibition at Columbia City Gallery

Two of my photographs submitted were selected for the juried exhibition at The Columbia City Gallery this fall. They were taken last winter at Seward Park early on a foggy morning. Other images came out of this shoot, but I’m so glad these two were selected.

The one above is called Traffic Cone, Seward Park. The other one selected was Abandoned Docks, Seward Park. I’ll put that one up when the show is announced.


I had the pleasure of photographing Charlotte over the course of a couple of days. I’ve not been lucky enough to have my own children, but I do enjoy being with them enormously. They are really soulful creatures – full of their own complexities – and what goes on in their little noggins is a wonder to behold. We worked hard to shape and cajole Charlotte to smile and pose for the camera, but some of the shots I ended up liking the best was when I told her to just do what she wanted – and she did. I just snapped away as she wondered about the tree above her – or the sky, or the ocean, or just about everything. What a pleasure it is to witness innocence. It’s such a fleeting time of life.

Thanks Judy and Todd for letting me spend some time with her!