Riverfront Arts Center Exhibit

Riverfront Arts Center in Stevens Point features underwater photography

By Jamie Jung • Journal staff • April 9, 2010

Take a trip under the sea with the latest exhibit at the Riverfront Arts Center."Treasures of the Deep," featuring underwater photography by Vivian Weber-Pagel of Plover, will open today and run through May 16.

"The photographs are absolutely spectacular," said Brenda Gingles, director for the gallery. "I was absolutely awestruck when I first saw them."

Weber-Pagel has been diving for 14 years. When she retired as a speech therapist from the Stevens Point Area Public School District about three years ago, she also discovered a love for underwater photography.

"I enjoy everything about diving -- being weightless, the silence, the incredible sense of humor that the Creator had when he put some of these creatures together," Weber-Pagel said. "It's very beautiful under the water, very peaceful."

Previously armed with an Olympus SP-350 and now a Canon G11 in underwater cases, Weber-Pagel specializes in macrophotography.

"It's a lot like looking for hidden figures in the ocean," she said as she pointed to a pygmy seahorse nestled in a sea fan "The pygmy seahorses are about the size of a grain of rice."

Weber-Pagel will show about 150 photos during "Treasures of the Deep,"


with most shot during recent trips to the Caribbean and South Pacific, from the region of Raja Ampat.

"Probably the key thing to underwater photography is instead of swimming, going slow enough that your eye catches movement," Weber-Pagel said. "Seeking out what looks odd."

The show will be divided into several sections to highlight the various underwater creatures -- octopods, fish, corals and sponges, and more -- and their behaviors.

Weber-Pagel is hoping in addition to viewing the stunning photos of the underwater world, visitors to the Riverfront Arts Center will also enjoy the learning element of the show. Educational information will be displayed by each photo, and a video also will be shown.

"Treasures of the Deep" also will feature works by five local glass artists.

"I like to have a three-dimensional component to each show, and the glass really was a nice partner," Gingles said. "The colors and transparency of the glass is a perfect match."
Several of the glass works will be available for purchase, and Weber-Pagel has created items using her photography that will be for sale.

"It's really exciting to be able to show these photos to others," Weber-Pagel said. "There are only a small number of people who are ever able to see these spectacular creatures up close,

and I'm lucky enough to be one of them. This show will give everyone an opportunity to see

the colors, the shapes and sizes of these underwater creatures.

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