For local artist Kurtis Nguyen, photography is all about simple interactions with people.
"I got time to meet people, and capture a little bit of your life, and introduce these people,” he said. "I like to observe."
The only difference for his artwork now featured at the Dawson Creek Art Gallery, is that these interactions happened thousands of kilometres away, in southeast Vietnam.
Nguyen was one of six artists featured in the exhibit "The Articulate Eye", going until March 1 at the Dawson Creek Art Gallery.
Nguyen said that he considers this to be a creative outlet, one of many he takes part in. Along with photography, Nguyen also plays in a local band, String Theory.
For his work featured at the Gallery, Nguyen took photographs of people he met during trips to Vietnam, along the Chinese border. The artwork featured people he was able to interact with during the four or five trips he made to that time.
Along with Nguyen, Peace Region artists Don A. Pettit, Donna Bozarth, and Brian Knodel will also be featured.
Another artist, Emily Parsons, also attempted to go beyond the Peace Region, to a different realm entirely. Many of the pieces of artwork she brought to the Art Gallery were photographs with fantasy themes, with crowns, swords, and witches, done by local volunteers.
"(Theme photography) just gives me a base to work on," she said. "Some I’ll have a feeling I want to get or an era, something I can take and run with it."
A professional photographer by trade, Parsons said she was pleased to have her artwork featured at the Art Gallery for the first time.
"With shoots like these I just wanted a creative outlet, something I had complete control over," she added. "I could control the clothing, the people, the idea, something that ís my imagination come to life."
Grande Prairie artist Kim Scott was also among the artists featured at the Art Gallery.
"I like to think of photography as you get down and get up in the shadows and reflection," she said.
For her work featured in the exhibit, this involved getting down amongst the construction of the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie.
In 2007, amongst a heavy snowfall, the roof of the art gallery collapsed, according to Scott.
"They had taken snow off several times already, but the curator saw that there was a crack and water was trickling in," she added. "He got everybody out ... nobody was hurt and no artwork was destroyed."
However, this forced the Art Gallery to rebuild. They decided to keep the 1920s brick exterior of the building and completely rebuild the inside. The gallery was also looking for photographers to document the process, and Scott volunteered. While she had not photographed steadily for years, despite having studied architectural photography, she decided to give it a go.
Scott felt it was important to document these structures as they were under construction.
"The insides of the building nobody will be able to see again," she said.
However, this was decidedly more difficult than other types of shoots.
"This is the first time on my construction site, and it presented its own challenges," she said. "The goggles kept steaming up and the hardhat interfered with the flash of my camera."
Scott also had to do the photos with little to no prep time, having to go along with other tours of the gallery under construction.
This was not the only challenge Scott faced. An earlier brain tumour that had been removed years ago, leaving her with some double vision and blurry spots in her eyes.
The project took years to complete, and last September, the gallery had its official re-opening.
The artwork was eventually featured in the Grande Prairie gallery itself, and Scott said that it was enough to impress a Grande Prairie artist, Peter Von Tiesenhausen, whose work she admired.
The work was also enough to gather the attention of the Dawson Creek Art Gallery.
"Photographing the art gallery has been the highpoint in my life," said Scott in a written introduction to the work. "I love being in our new building, enjoying the light and the angle and the lines, and the spaces providing a backdrop