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The international Gay Games (GG9) may be winding down in venues in Akron and Cleveland, but the artistic impact is not. Summit Artspace, a Knight Arts grantee, is seeing to that.

Sandy Kreisman, executive director of Akron Area Arts Alliance (the umbrella organization of Summit Artspace) came up with a brilliant idea – “Pride in the Moment” – to create an online gallery of the games as they happen, and to provide an enduring online presence and reminder of this singular event in the northeast Ohio region.

It’s a remarkable achievement as well, for it provides international access so that friends and family in faraway countries with athletes participating in the Games can see glimpses of their homeland and hometown friends. Participants came from 50 countries and 48 states.

The project has been funded by the Gay Community Endowment of the Akron Community Foundation, according to Kreisman, to capture the beauty of the faces of the people involved.

To do all that, Kreisman sent out a call a few months ago for photographers who wanted to test their artistic mettle with athletic and arts and culture events. From the photographers who showed interest, Kreisman and the Gallery Committee of Summit Artspace selected four who, it has been reported, rose to the top after an application and extensive review process – two from the Cleveland area and two from the Akron area.

Billy Delfs, GG9, open water swim

Billy Delfs, GG9, open water swim.

The chosen photographers are: Peter Larsen and Billy Delfs from the Cleveland area and Shane Wyne and David Allan Foster from the greater Akron area. Larsen, a 26-year old from Cleveland, spent his early career focusing on taking portraits of musicians. He currently shoots for VICE, iHeartRadio, “The New York Times,” Mom + Pop Music, as well as takes on many special projects. Delfs usually focuses on natural surroundings, mixing documentary and portraiture to tell stories for magazines and advertising agencies. His clients include “The Wall Street Journal,” “Smithsonian Magazine, “Adcom” and Time Inc.

Peter Larsen, GG9, power lifting.

Peter Larsen, GG9, power lifting.

Shane Wynn of Akron is the staff photographer for “Akronlife” magazine and is also a small business owner, operating Shane Wynn Studio. David Foster is a multimedia and photography instructor at Kent State University and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in journalism education. He received his undergraduate degree in photojournalism from Kent State in 2009, and then attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine. While in college, he was named Ohio News Photographers Association Student Photographer of the Year, in both 2006 and 2007.

Shane Wynn, GG9, dancesport.

Shane Wynn, GG9, dance-sport.

The games situated in the Akron area are, among others: the rodeo; track and field (discus, javelin, relay and short distance races); road races (10K, half marathon, and the big endurance event of the Games, the marathon); golf; softball; and a host of soccer events.

David Foster, GG9, martial arts.

David Foster, GG9, martial arts.

The photographers, according to Kreisman, have chosen events that interest them personally. They will attend these events, either setting up their studios on-site or deciding to work candidly. They then gather portraits and other images that inspire them.  Some of the events that will be photographed are the rodeo, dance-sport, basketball, ice-hockey, open water swim, power-lifting, cycling and sailing and cheer.

As they finish their tasks, they head back to their studios, prepare their day’s work, and upload their images in in order to keep the gallery current. The site went live on August 10th. Images can be found primarily at www.prideinthemomentgg9cle.org, but also through links for Summit Artspace at www.akronareaarts; www.gg9cle.com, on the Games Facebook page and several gay-themed websites involved with GG9.

 

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