Amy Andrews Invites Your Heart to Come to Life

Congratulations to Amy Andrews, winner of “Best in Show” for the 2010 North Valley Art League Juried Photography Show.

The 19th Annual show attracted 237 photographs, from 68 artists living in southern Oregon and northern California. To encourage younger participants, the entries are divided into three divisions: Novice, Progressing and Advanced. Artists Richard Wilson and Harvey Spector judged the entries on artistic merit. They set the bar high, awarding works that were distinctly original.

I chatted with Amy Andrews about the show, her winning entry and her favorite city on Earth.


Congratulations on winning “Best in Show for “Lily in Motion.” Did you enter any other pieces in the show?

Yes. I entered a piece entitled “Sanctuary” and took 1st Prize in the Intermediate Division for “Stella.”


Tell me about how you arrived where you are artistically.

I don’t have any training, aside from some coursework in Art History, but I have always been fascinated by art – photography in particular. My favorite photographers are Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, Margaret Bourke-White, and Robert Capa. I am inspired by artists, such as Andy Warhol, who allow the viewer to see something familiar in a new way, and so I try to look at everyday objects with an abstract eye.


I have your shot of the Basque Hotel in San Francisco as you come in my front door. It’s one of my favorite pieces. What made you see that sign the way you did?

Like a lot of my photos, it was kind of a fluke. I took a shortcut down an alley in North Beach, where I stay in the city, and there it was. Sometimes you look for certain shots, or try to make them happen, and other times they just seem to appear. I am fascinated by language and typefaces, so I particularly love old neon signs.


SF is an incredible city, but what makes it one of your favorite subjects?

William Saroyan once wrote that “No city invites the heart to come to life as San Francisco does. Arrival in San Francisco is an experience in living.” I think that articulates it for me. I don’t know if it is possible to find your “soul” in a particular locale, but San Francisco does that for me. I come alive when I am there, and it feels like coming home. The city itself is a magnificent work of art – beautiful, improbable, and inviting – and serves as a great muse for me.


You capture SF in a way that is unmistakably San Francisco, but also so universal. That has to be on purpose.

I like my photographs to be identifiable as San Francisco, but not clichéd. I try to focus on shots of the diverse neighborhoods and micro-neighborhoods that define the city, rather than overexposed landmarks. San Francisco has a quiet elegance about it that is often missed, but I think is recognizable to those who have experienced it.


What else catches your eye?

It depends on the day. I have photographed everything from food to street signs to merchandise in stores, but I have a particular affinity for architecture and urban landscapes.


Tell us about your pieces for the NVAL Juried Photography Show.

“Stella” is a shot of one of the classic streetcars in San Francisco that run down Market Street. The F-Line streetcars are one of my favorite subjects, because I love their retro, streamline look. “Lily in Motion” is a black & white of a little girl running the length of a cable car, shot from the level of the floor, which turned out surprisingly well. I am pleased with the sense of movement in the photo. “Sanctuary” is actually my favorite of the three. It was taken inside a musty old library, which felt sacred and serene to me; I think the photo captures that.


Any other favorite pieces in the show?

The entire show is wonderful, but I particularly liked Neil Harvey’s “Winter Morning, Hayfork” and Joel Reinhard’s photograph of the Chapter House in Vina.


What can we expect from you next?

I am planning to take more photos locally, and am currently working on a project involving Downtown Redding.

Don’t wait for what’s next. Meet Amy and see her work, and the work of 67 other regional photographers, in the Annual North Valley Art League Juried Photography Show, Saturday, May 8, from 6 to 9 p.m., during 2nd Saturday ArtHop.

What: 19th Annual North Valley Art League Juried Photography Show

When: Through May 29th

Where: The North Valley Art League’s Carter House Galleryin Caldwell Park, 48 Quartz Hill Road, Redding

For more information call 530-243-1023 or visit nval.org.

Adam Mankoski is a recent North State transplant who feels completely at home here. He enjoys experiencing and writing about the people, places and things that embody the free spirit of the State of Jefferson. He and his partner own HawkMan Studios and are the creators of Redding’s 2nd Saturday ArtHop. Email your North State news and events to adamm.anewscafe@gmail.com.

Adam Mankoski

is a recent North State transplant who feels completely at home here. He enjoys experiencing and writing about the people, places and things that embody the free spirit of the State of Jefferson. He and his partner are the owners of HawkMan Studios and the creators of Redding’s 2nd Saturday Art Hop.

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