My first art show

I’ve been taking photos since I was 12 years old. That’s when, after a little begging on my part, my parents and my Uncle Steve, an avid photographer himself, combined my Christmas and birthday (which is in January) gifts and got me a used Nikon EM, a couple lenses, some film and a flash.

My desire to have a nicer camera came from a more practical place, though. The year before I was a sixth-grader at Colerain Elementary toward the end of the school year – the last before I headed off to teenagerdom, seventh grade and Colerain Junior High School I took several photos of my friends and classmates. The camera I used was a 110 I earned by selling greeting cards door-to-door in my neighborhood, a venture started after I saw an ad on the back of Boys Life magazine (though I had always wanted the top prize, a 13-inch black and white television, I never was able to sell the required number of “units”). After a day of photographing, the photos came back all grainy and dark. I was convinced I needed a new camera to avoid such a calamity in the future.

Once I got the EM and some nice folks gave me pointers on how to take good photos (including Mr. Corcoran, the shop teacher at Colerain Junior High and my Uncle Steve), I began to develop a deep love for the hobby. It’s actually responsible for the career path I took into journalism and writing – a whole other story.

I’ve taken a few photography classes over the years, but not too many. Much of what I have learned is self-taught or learned informally from other pros and hobbyists. Recently, though, a local art dealer and critic happened to see one of my photos and asked if I had more. Before I knew it I was invited to show some of my work at my first-ever art show. Needless to say, I’m super excited. It’s 5 to 8 on the evening of March 27 at the United Way Building, 2400 Reading Road. More details will follow as I learn them…

Author: Joe Wessels

Joe Wessels is a freelance journalist and photographer. Wessels covers local news events for Thomson Reuters news service and features for's Cincinnati Guide site, plus is the executive director of hyperlocal news site, He wrote for The Cincinnati Post, covering Cincinnati City Hall and Hamilton County government and wrote a weekly political column, which continued weekly at Cincinnati CityBeat. Previously, he was a reporter for the Cincinnati Business Courier and writes or has written for several publications in Cincinnati and around the country including The Cincinnati Enquirer, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincy Magazine and the Sacramento News & Review. He is a native of Colerain Township, one of Cincinnati's western suburbs, and now lives in Over-the-Rhine near downtown Cincinnati. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a journalism writing certificate from the University of Cincinnati. He also graduated from Colerain High School, is an avid photographer, news junkie and was once a roller rink disc jockey, and sometimes rides a scooter around town.

6 thoughts on “My first art show”

  1. Hey Joe, we have our dress rehearsal that night so I can’t make it, but huge congrats and best of luck. Really excited for you!

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