The Alliance Art Gallery invites art lovers to see Frank Elmore’s “Junkyard Series” at its May 12 “Second Saturday” reception from 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday, May 12, at the Alliance Art Gallery, 112 N. Main St., Hannibal.

The chipped paint on the hood of the junkyard blue Pontiac looked so real, watercolorist Brenda Beck Fisher asked Frank Elmore, “Can I touch it?” She slid her finger across the silky acrylic painted surface to assure herself he had not actually embedded a paint chip into the almost photographically real painting.

The Alliance Art Gallery invites art lovers to see Elmore’s “Junkyard Series” at its May 12 “Second Saturday” reception from 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday, May 12, at the Alliance Art Gallery, 112 N. Main St., Hannibal.

When asked what got him into art, Elmore pauses, tracing a somewhat non-traditional path.

“Well, growing up, for me, was about theater,” he said, a choice that led to a 30-plus year acting career in New York and Los Angeles in commercials, soap operas, plays, and film. “But even as a kid, I always had an interest in 3D images because of comic books.”

He used his red-and-blue lens cardboard glasses to read them, and even create his own 3D art. He moved from there to Polaroid images with its squared prints, perfect for high definition 3D imagery.

Retiring to Hannibal in 2015, and driving one spring day down country roads with friends, he chanced upon a junkyard of rusted wrecks. Still enamored with 3D imagery, he grabbed his 3D camera and began snapping images of police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, big finned behemoths. He culled eight images from that day, and will be showing the first paintings from the “Junkyard Series” along with the 3D photographs at the May 12 opening reception.

Barry Wright: Featured Member Artist

In a discard nation, where everything seems disposable, photographer Barry Wright captures the mysterious link between abandonment and treasured memory. For example, one day he found a piano left in an abandoned church, its keys covered with leaves, unplayed, forgotten. Yet ironically rather than sadness, the image evokes a vulnerable moment of love — for what that piano once meant.

“My mother played the piano in church my whole life,” Barry remembers. We could not play on it. The church’s piano was an expensive instrument.” Looking at his poignant sepia-toned photo, he adds, “You know that piano was the pride and joy of the church … and now mice are eating it.” But we don’t see the mice; we see the memory, and rather than evoking sadness, it beckons us to beauty—the beauty of good memories.

Barry Wright explores websites like Forgotten Missouri, a rich source for potential photographic sites. Often geographic coordinates or directions are not given—to protect sites that can be destroyed by graffiti, target practice, or ordinary demolition. But occasionally Goggle Earth will unearth likely locations of abandoned farms, silos, churches, and he will head out country roads, especially if interesting clouds are billowing overhead.

He typically uses ultraviolet wide angle lens, usually preferring black and white images, and limits his digital enhancement to sharpening—not saturating—the image.

Using a photo-burst technique that captures the same image with three different light settings, he can image the clouds, landscape, and abandoned structure with a preciseness impossible to attain with just one light exposure.

An opening reception for Elmore and Wright will be held Saturday, May 12, from 5 to 8 p.m. A piece of Wright’s work will be given away in a free drawing held at 6 p.m. This reception coincides with Hannibal’s Second Saturday Gallery Night.