On Friday, the 11th of September, the Public Library in Książ Wielkopolski held a vernissage of the exhibition presenting the selection of works produced during the GOGOLEWO 2015 – The Photogenic Province plein air session, which took place on April 25th and 26th, 2015.

The local library where the vernissage was organized was visited by a group of around 40 people. The photographs exhibited in the entrance hall of the Town Hall in Książ Wielkopolski aroused their curiosity. The meeting was opened by Marlena Grewling, who introduced the authors of exhibited photographs, presented a brief summary of the plein air session, and expressed gratitude for the support of all the institutions without which the organization of the session and printing of the catalog wouldn’t be possible. Thanks were extended to the Cultural Center in Książ Wielkopolski, Dorota Jańczak, Paweł Walkowiak, as well as residents of Gogolewo who also attended the vernissage, although rather sparsely.

Among those who deserved special gratitude was Jarosław Sobkowiak, the owner of the old manor house in Gogolewo, who also attended the Friday meeting and who supported the printing of the catalog financially. The duo of Jarosław Sobkowiak and Marlena Grewling awarded the honored photographers. Jarosław Sobkowiak and Paweł Walkowiak then said a few words of praise for the idea of setting the plein air in Gogolewo and its realization, thus triggering a well-earned round of applause for Marlena Grewling.

Our plein air gave birth to the beautifully bound photo album containing photographs taken during the session. It presents a selection of works by 14 photographers who took part in the open air photo feast. Among them, you will find works by: Michał Bachorz, Jerzy Faustman, Dariusz Foetke, Marlena Grewling, Aleksandra Grześkowiak, Irena Krzeszewska, Piotr Nowak, Piotr Pieczykolan, Grażyna Piechocka, Arkadiusz Rychlewski, Michał Skweres, Karol Szymkowiak, Piotr Zarówny, and Marek Żarnowski. The catalog was compiled by Marlena Grewling, while the typesetting was the job of Małgorzata Porażewska.

A full agenda of the Friday meeting in the library throttled any signs of tedium. Apart from the vernissage and promotion of the catalog with photographs taken around Gogolewo, participants had a chance to meet Krzysztof Szymoniak, a journalist, poet, photographer, lecturer, and photography expert specialized in the region of Greater Poland. Of course, he didn’t forget to bring his latest book titled Fotografioły 3. What’s photography really about?. While conversing with Jarosław Krzemiński, an editor from the Gazeta Średzka newspaper, he touched upon the state of provincial photographic circles in the region of Greater Poland and the notion of amateurism in photography. There were also kind words for the plein air in Gogolewo and the exhibition of photographs. According to Krzysztof Szymoniak’s belief, in each community, there is someone who radiates energy and eagerness, thus inducing everyone around to take the artistic initiative. That’s how photography is doing in large cities (such as Konin and Koło), smaller ones (Września, Trzcianka and Oborniki) as well as towns like Książ Wielkopolski, where the driving force behind the local photographic initiative is Marlena Grewling herself. Krzysztof Szymoniak, who knows exactly what is going on around photography in the region, underscored what a bright spot on the map of Greater Poland the plein air organized in Gogolewo proved to be. The support provided by all the institutions and private persons that helped organize the session and publish the catalog was held up by him as a model initiative.

His book attracted lots of attention, which resulted in selling every single one he brought. Unquestionably, one of the strongest incentives to purchase this publication was the chapter devoted to the artistic activity of Marlena Grewling.

Afterwards, we all took our seats to watch a film novella titled The Thing Nobody Knows About (Czego nie wie nikt).

Jarosław Krzemiński