Community Arts Initiative

Current Exhibit: Signs, Symbols & Sunsets. Runaway Snapshots. by Tom Kedzie


Artist Statement

My photos all start with my cell phone. Some I take while travelling, some I take close to my home in Brookfield or on my farm downstate. Most of them start as totally ordinary snapshots.  I use five or six photo manipulation programs and apps and usually start by randomly playing around with an image using  one or the other of the programs. Most of my chosen photos go thru at least two of these programs (sometimes four or five) before they're finished - making the result quite unique.

During this "doodling" or "daydreaming" process, the image may suddenly (or slowly) remind me of a piece of music or a book or story title or just some random self-invented title. I listen to a lot of music. Listening to music can put my head in the right place to sense something in the photo I might otherwise miss. Usually I'm totally surprised and amazed by what pops up on the screen.

After an initial idea presents itself I do a lot of variations, adjustments and backtracking; eventually preparing the final result to be printed in an enlarged version.

Having been a picture framer in my earlier life I like to include digital frames around most of my pictures.  The right frame completes the picture in my opinion. It gives it a  more unified visual impact as opposed to leaving the image unframed or using random frames, with or without mats. I'm probably in a small minority of people who spend a lot of time studying frames when I go to an art museum.

Some of my photos deal with the departed and gone, but I hope not in what seems a depressing way. In the words of William Faulkner, "The past is not dead; It's not even past." This is the way I relate to the people or forgotten places in my pictures. They're not really gone because they continue to speak to the present, or at least  to me . I have a great respect for history and the past - remember, to its participants it was the same living, vibrant present that we exist in here and now.

P.S.,  I have a great phone - an LG G5 which I recommend highly for its camera.  
P.P.S., I don't use Photoshop  or its siblings - way too complicated for me - I'm not sure "process" is directly related to "impact".


About the Community Arts Initiative

The mission of the Community Arts Initiative is to promote art, stimulate discussion and build community. The initiative was inspired by the local artists’ community who approached the Library with the idea of exhibiting local artists’ works, as is commonplace in public libraries everywhere. 

How to be considered

Artists interested in exhibiting at the Brookfield Public Library are invited to submit an application to Library Director Kimberly Coughran or to Community Arts Initiative Liaison Jason Michael West. Interested applicants should print and complete the Display and Exhibit Application form. Applications should include 3 to 5 high quality jpeg images, an artist bio, and a link to the artist’s website (if applicable). Applications will be accepted throughout the year and will be evaluated on a first come, first served basis. Due to the Library’s limited space, only 2-dimensional art works may be exhibited.  Accepted entries will be exhibited for a period of 8 weeks.

For more information on the Brookfield Public Library, or the Community Arts Initiative, please contact Library Director Kimberly Coughran at 708-485-6917.




Tom Kedzie

Artist Bio

Tom Kedzie is a retired "coot" from Brookfield. He owned several art-related businesses since college and has always enjoyed taking pictures but has gotten much more engaged  in that activity in recent years as it's become possible to have almost total, instant control of an image from start to finish. No more smelly darkroom chemicals and the price of film and equipment has decreased to zero - very conducive to experimentation. His exhibit consists of a variety of eccentric "runaway" snapshots taken with his cell phone in the course of his travels and non-travels.