Bill Wierzalis to attend La Festa for second year

self.portrait_Bill Wierzalis

Big Italy in America

Deann Verdier
  Baltimore photographer Bill Wierzalis isn’t a man who will have regrets when it comes to his life’s work. He’s been true to his artistic bent and indulged his passion for the Italian culture and people. “I started taking photos on my first Italian trip 30 years ago. From the beginning, I always had the awareness that my picture-taking was an artistic process. With a college background in the humanities, and after taking several visual art classes in Baltimore, I started working in commercial photography studios, which allowed me to keep in touch with new ideas and processes.” Wierzalis natural photographer’s eye aims to convey the quiet, intimate corners of daily life. But that doesn’t mean the photos are dreary—in fact, they’re anything but. Some scenes may allude to mystery with their settings in fog, dawn, and dusk, but more often than not you’ll notice and appreciate the vitality and color that emanates from each of Wierzalis’ photographs. Over the past three decades, this artist has developed a love for all things Italian. “I even married one!” laughs Wierzalis. This life choice has given him the opportunity to develop a connection with his Italian in-laws and come to appreciate even more the beautiful Italy, “Italia Bella,” from which his wife hails. “With each new visit to Italy,” says Wierzalis, “my inspired visual expressions have become more focused and attuned.” As for the production side of his photography career, says the artist about digital photography, “I prefer to create and print my images using traditional enlargers where I can maintain control throughout the printing process.” Certainly, this touch adds to the soft yet apparent life that glows from each piece of Wierzalis’ portfolio. When creating an image, Wierzalis says of technique, “I believe that 50 percent of the work goes into taking the photo and 50 percent goes into printing. Each one is a separate process and I enjoy the challenge of getting the proper mood from deep shadows to dusky sunrises in the Umbrian hills.” If you love the old Italy Wierzalis conveys and the new Italy he captures, keep an eye out for upcoming “domestic” photographs of closer-to-home destinations like Baltimore and Washington, D.C.  Learn more about Bill Wierzalis at http://www.italyincolor.com/index.html  

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