Helena photographer featured at Harbert Center exhibition

FROM STAFF REPORTS

BIRMINGHAM — Local Helena photographer Gretchen Birdwell featured a series of her photographs called “Come as You Are” at The Harbert Center in downtown Birmingham in the month of May. She was also the Featured Artist at The Harbert Center until the end of the month.

Birdwell challenged women to come for a photography session dressed as they normally would be with their hair and makeup the way they typically fix it.

“Most of the women featured in magazine ads are very young and have been edited to perfection,” Birdwell said. “Showing a woman her beauty just as she is every day is empowering to her.”

Executive Director of The Harbert Center Chandrel Wright-Richardson said the center is featuring local artists to celebrate their 33rd anniversary this year and to draw interest in the facility during the summer months.

“We are excited to showcase our artistic partners,” Wright-Richardson said. “We cap off the event with a by-invitation-only reception for each person chosen to exhibit.” The reception for Birdwell was held on Monday, May 20, from 5-7 p.m.

The series of 18 photographs features women of all ages, sizes and ethnicity and are beautifully presented in black-and-white.

“The photographs of these women—the way each one holds her own space—tell us all we need to know about how she feels about herself,” Birdwell said. “I trust that the viewers will see in these images women who are strong, confident and beautiful.”

Birdwell is the owner of Gretchen B Photography, located in Helena. She is a certified professional photographer who has received multiple awards for her portrait work.

“My goal is to make my subjects feel wonderful about themselves,” Birdwell said. “It’s important to help create legacy pieces for family members and children.”