A Champe-ion of Fine Arts Photography to Exhibit at La Verne’s Hillcrest, Aug. 5

July 29, 2010
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To shoot this photo, fine arts photographer C.S. Champe embedded herself deep inside a slot canyon.

To shoot this photo, fine arts photographer C.S. Champe embedded herself deep inside a slot canyon.

Asked how she finds things to photograph, fine arts photographer C.S. Champe replied, “I just walk around with my eyes open!”

What catches her eye now are landscapes, sunsets and people in their natural surroundings. Her canvas is as wide as the world — from the Manzanar Historical Site along the Alabama Hills in California to the heather moorlands of the British Isles. She lives in the moment, waiting minutes or hours for the perfect play of light and darkness before firing her Canon EOS Elan II.

Although her subjects are often silent, they still find a way to speak to her. A wind-scarred butte in the Monument Valley that stands like a sentinel over eons of geologic history or a pelican that nests in a marsh, protectively looking down the length of its prehistoric bill, connects her to the living world.

Champe didn’t always feel so connected. She grew up the daughter of a career military officer, moving every three years or so. As an adult, she enjoyed the security of a banking career when that world was secure. A loving marriage was another buffer against life’s vicissitudes, but that comfort zone also was breached when her husband, a Los Angeles city police officer, was killed in the line of duty.

C.S. Champe

C.S. Champe

For a time, her harbor was living on a boat in the marina, from Dana Point to Marina del Rey. Now, however, she lives on terra firma again in the La Verne area. In her late 40s, she picked up her camera, and it’s been her steady soulful companion ever since.

“I’ve had a very wonderful life, a very blessed life,” said Champe whose images will be featured alongside the watercolors of John Creech and Janet P. Wright at a special artist’s reception on Thursday, August 5, 2010 at the Meeting House at Hillcrest from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Besides being on view at Hillcrest, her work also hangs in homes and offices across the nation and galleries like the Beaudreau Jewelers & Gallery in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

She’s a specialist, so much so that a client once hired her to capture the white bark of an autumn-colored aspen tree in Colorado. The details matters when you’re a fine artist. The details matter when you’re an active human being engaged in the richness of life.

Hillcrest, the site of the artist’s reception, is one of the nation’s most remarkable retirement communities. Conveniently located in the San Gabriel community of La Verne, just named by Family Circle as one of the country’s top 10 communities for families, Hillcrest offers an extraordinary range of services that meet the needs of its residents. From charming living quarters, to outstanding health and recreational services, to ongoing educational and cultural events, Hillcrest is the high point for senior living. For more information about Hillcrest or the upcoming Artist’s reception, please call (909) 392-4375.

Special note: While the Hillcrest reception is an invitation-only affair for the Hillcrest community, Ms. Champe’s work will also be exhibited later in the month, Aug. 22 – Sept. 26, at the APC Fine Arts and Gallery in Torrance, Calif. In addition to her photographs, guests will enjoy the works of many Southern California-based watercolorists who participated along with Ms. Champe in the 13th Annual Fukuhara Workshop.

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