As a master of the technique of light painting, John Hartman's work uses artificial light, adding a unique sense of depth, dimension, and detail. Learn more about how Hartman began his journey in the Stevens Point Area and jump-started his career as a professional photographer in 1974. Read ahead to learn more about local makers who call the Stevens Point Area home here. 

Hartman describes one of his favorite things about being an artist is that he can create something that will outlast him. Just some of the words that Hartman uses to describe his work include that it is unique, honest, time-honored, fun, and wall-worthy. The classes that he offers to other photographers will continue to inspire others for years to come. 

Regarding his recent trip to Africa, this is what Hartman has to say: 

"I was asked to go on this safari by world-renown wildlife photographer Kevin Dooley, whose work I have admired for years. I reached out to my photography students to see if any were interested in coming with me, and we filled the trip in just a couple of weeks. There were about 20 of us in our group, on a beautiful 55,000 private game reserve in southern Botswana that we had all to ourselves, which is home to 1200 elephants and a wide variety of other animals, such as lions, cheetahs, leopards, primates, zebras, giraffes, antelopes, hyenas, jackals and over 125 species of birds. 

The accommodations, service and food were world-class. We left camp before dawn each day and returned around 10:30 a.m. for breakfast. The mid-morning to mid-afternoon periods were spent swimming in one of the two infinity pools, chatting, catching up on e-mails, attending photo classes, working on our images or napping. After high tea at 3:00 were were back out until after dark. During our time on the game drives we immediately encountered all sorts of wildlife, who were oblivious to our presence as they lounged, hunted, ate or played—even at very close range. Because the lodging company has been there for over 35 years, the animals were used to the presence of the vehicles, and did not perceive them (or us) as a threat. It was truly an amazing experience.

While all of us were photography enthusiasts, there were very few professionals in our group. Most made many thousands of photographs while there, including time spent in Johannesburg and Cape Town before and after the safari.

This trip was not on my bucket list; however, it far exceeded my expectations in nearly every respect (OK, the 16.5 hr. non-stop plane ride from Atlanta to Johannesburg wasn’t fun). I’ve been asked to lead another trip next year, this time to South Africa, and it was a lot easier to say yes this time."

John Hartman and Kevin Dooley on their recent African Safari trip.John Hartman and Kevin Dooley on their African safari trip. Photo from John Hartman's Facebook Page. 

You can find the photos taken on his African safari trip at his current Gallery Q show, Wildlife of Africa, until the end of February. Miss the show? No need to worry! Being a Gallery Q member since 2009, Hartman's work can be found consistently at the gallery. Visit his personal site to learn more! 

Want more?

Find more local art at the Riverfront Arts Center, the Downtown Murals, the Stevens Point Sculpture Park, and the Carlsten Student Art Gallery. Read more arts-inspired blogs here, and be sure to tag @StevensPointArea and use #StevensPointArea on your Instagram photos for a chance to be featured!

Header photo courtesy of John Hartman's Facebook Page.