Thank You Jay Schimpf!

We explored a resident photographer series, which featured different posts called Behind The Lens. I would like to thank Jay Schimpf for her hard work and interesting pieces over the last year. We look to explore new resident photographers down the line, for now, we will turn our focus to music, leaving the rest to ponder until it feels right again. Thanks again Jay!


Nationally exhibiting sculptor and photographer Jessica Schimpf graduated in 2010 with her B.F.A. Degree from The Maryland Institute College of Art. Jessica is a recipient of MICA’s departmental grants, scholarships and academic achievment awards. At MICA she studied the art of metal fabrication and traditional lost wax casting in the school’s metal foundry. After graduation she started working with hand blown glass and opened her first business called Mantra Glass (CEO, co-owner and Glass Designer).

Jessica is an exhibiting artist that shows her work through public installations, gallery exhibitions and private collections across the U.S. She has worked at The Sculpture Foundation, where she and her team fabricated “The Seven Year Itch” (monumental sculpture of Marilyn Monroe for the city of Chicago), and “American Gothic” (sculpture for the city of Rome). She has also worked for Oxman Studios to create a monumental bronze sculpture “Dignity” for a horse farm in Kentucky, and  “Encore” a stainless steel monumental sculpture (for the city of Washington, DC). Several large public installation projects of her personal work include North Bennington Art Park, VT., Pearlstone Conference and Retreat Center Reisterstown, MD., and Salem Art Works Salem., NY.

Press notorioty includes The New York Times, Landscape Architecture Magazine, and MICA Juxtapositions.

Jessica’s work spanses several different mediums and forms. Her current work investigates the ephemeral qualities of living plants, organic matter, and the reproduction of organic materials drawn on paper. Her work offers a glimpse into the fleeting, dissapearing beauty of organic matter and energy that can be captured in the natural world.  Her work stems from her childhood explorations where her home was surrounded by a large community of people, farms and hundreds of acres of protected land participating in The Farmland Preservation of Central New Jersey.

Jessica’s interest in preserving unique natural forms also stems from her studies on the impact of society on the landscape. To learn more about Jessica, have a look at her website and some of the amazing work she is currently doing.

Behind The Lens With Sarah Da Silva

We proudly introduce our first choice for our Behind The Lens Series, featuring photographer Sarah Da Silva from Colorado Springs, C.O. Sarah has established herself on the east coast, originally from Springfield N.J. She obtained her Associates Degree in Photography and has worked as an concert, event, wedding and portrait photographer. She also creates beautiful nature photography that has been hung in several galleries including “Ephemera”, an exhibition in Salem, N.Y. in 2011.

Acres: We are interested in the artist behind the lens. This project is a simple look at who you are professionally and artistically. Sarah what is your current camera and equipment list?

SDS: The equipment I use are the Nikon D60 and the Nikon D90 with the SB 600 and 800 flash. However, it’s not how fancy the equipment is, it’s the eye of the beholder.

Acres: Yes I agree, it really comes down to what a photographer can do with available tools. There is no need for fancy high-tech gear to take beautiful, insightful photographs. You have a great eye for nature photography and i’ve noticed that your work is clearly balanced between shooting and meticulous editing, with your own artistic flare.  As a photographer, how do you decide what and where to shoot, how do you get there? What do you look for through your lens?

SDS: I wouldn’t consider myself solely a ‘nature’ photographer, I’m open to anything and everything. Although my dream is to one day work for either national geographic or for my own company focusing on concert photography but I want to broaden my portfolio and explore every branch of photography.

How I decide what to shoot is always something that catches my eye, whether it’s symmetry, or asymmetry, I look for some kind of balance and unity through the lens. It could be an everyday appliance we pass by without thought or a breath taking mountainous landscape. My purpose is simple, I just want humans to take a second look and open their perspective to what is around us. I feel that if I can get people to become aware of the beauty on this planet and the people who are in it, we could do more to protect it and ourselves. I want to share a different perspective. Photography is an universal language that anyone can understand. A picture says a thousand words.

Acres: Very well said, it’s difficult to bring the attention of the viewer towards a global/universal acknowledgement that our environment is in serious need of protection at this point in history. One image that comes to mind is this photograph you took last year in Colorado, with several pieces of wheat in focus. The giant mountains in the background are blurred but still recognizable to the human eye. It immediately conveys your message of bringing that sense of awareness to the beauty and the need to value landscapes that are disappearing rapidly in this country.

Acres: So you do a range of outdoor shooting for nature photography as well as indoor shooting for music events (concerts of professional musicians) and weddings. There must be a lot of technical knowledge that comes with the use of your flash and setting up for various lighting situations. Tell me about the best moment you’ve ever had shooting. What aspects of this moment changed the way you see through your camera?

SDS: The best experience I’ve had with photography was when I shot for the band Imbala at the Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia P.A. this past February. It was such a rush! The bright lights, the music, the crowd. Snapping pictures to the rhythm of music. It was such a meditative experience.

Acres: Imbala is from the east coast and I know you have worked with them for quite some time taking shots at their concerts. You’re long time friends of the brothers Wirjo, Scott Zanon and Mike Delia. For those of you who don’t know Imbala, check out their music HERE. They won Battle of The Bands in 2011 in Philly and are an eclectic group creating junkcore music.

We want to thank  Sarah for connecting with the collective here at Acres. We hope that promoting art and music through the site can become an accessible network for independent creators all over the world.

– Jay Schimpf