Hey, Spike! slows down a traveling photog
Ryan Summerlin July 25, 2013
That Dick Cunningham guy really gets around.
From the swamps of Florida to the mountains of Alaska, Dick has been photographing the natural beauty and wildlife of the United States for 35 years.
“I did my first art show in 1971 and for the last five years I do about 35 shows a year all over the country,” says Dick, who also has a gallery in Bonita Springs, Fla.
Dick produced all the shows in Breckenridge for 15 years, later selling them to producer Mark Beling and wife Judith Pollock, custom jewelers who did the art show circuit for many years before settling here.
Dick left the Kingdom of Breckenridge in 1993 and then came back for the 25th anniversary July 4th show he had started and has done two shows a year here for five years.
“Under Mark’s leadership the art shows have become one of the highest quality art shows in the West, consistently ranking as one of the top 100 shows in the country,” Dick says.
“This is something the whole community can be proud of and brings into the area for these events people who will stay in town and support the local restaurants and other businesses,” he adds.
“I love coming back to see all my old friends,” he says.
“Photography to me utilizes the subtle color and lighting found in our natural environment to capture a mood or feeling of that moment in time for the viewer to experience,” explains Dick.
Dick’s training in art and photography began at an early age. His mother was an accomplished artist and his father was a studio photographer. In high school and after graduating college from Rochester Institute of Technology, having earned associate and bachelor of science degrees in professional photography in 1971, Dick worked in the family photofinishing business in Danville, Ill.
In 1978 he moved to Breckenridge with wife Mary, and opened Cunningham Gallery, featuring his works. For the next 15 years he ran his gallery, started and promoted three annual art shows, and operated a postcard business of his work. He also exhibited his work in some of the most prestigious art shows throughout the country.
In 1993 he moved to Naples, Fla., with his wife and three children, where he is a now partner with his brother, Bill, in Naples Custom Photo.
Dick loves the unspoiled natural beauty of our country and strives to convey the feeling one gets when exploring our natural habitat.
In the past few weeks he and daughter Tina, 31, have been to shows in Salt Lake City, Madison, Wisc., Jackson Hole, Wyo., and in between have toured the Badlands and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, and Devil’s Tower and Yellowstone and Teton national parks, photographing wildlife and landscapes, while throwing in some flat-water kayaking.
While out in Utah, the father-daughter team photographed Capitol Reef, Arches and Goblin Valley.
Dick and Tina are back in Breckenridege this weekend for the 12th Annual Breckenridge Main Street Art Festival on Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., July 26-28, in the Wellington and East Sawmill parking lots on North Main Street and Wellington. Admission is free.
Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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