Each year, an artist is selected to execute an original artwork that typically features the beautiful fountain and the activities at the fair. For the 21st show, Chris and Katie Robleski, photographers, were selected to put their artistic spin on traditional photographs to showcase this year’s artwork for the poster.
Working under the professional name of The Flashnites, the Robleski’s tour the US looking for that perfect opportunity. “With a love of both road trips and Americana, we found a way to create art in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night, for people who simply want something different to hang on their walls. We travel all over the country to find these unique places. Kinda like paint on a white canvas, we use colored strobes and flashlights on a black one. No need for computer trickery here! We also don’t really give a big whoop about camera nerdery. Long exposure photography is simply the tool to capture this work. The REAL art happens beyond the camera, and the REAL story is told as we literally shed light on these magical places that have long since been forgotten.”
This year’s poster was a new challenge for the Robleski’s. Since the downtown area has so much ambient light at night, instead of using longer exposures times they created the image using 5 second exposures shots merged together in Photoshop. They point out that this is not their usual way to create their images as no computer manipulation is done on their photography. They shot about 160 of the short exposures and then selected 25 or so to make the picture come together.
This year’s poster is no exception to their quality work. The Robleski’s love the time they have spent in Belleville and have developed lasting friendships with people in our community.