In The Flash Of An Eye: Local Artist Captures Meaning In The Moment

| August 2, 2012

Most people never fully appreciate, let alone remember, the significance in each day until it’s far too late, once most of life has passed by.

But one local artist set out to capture a year’s worth of time in a series of photos, as a reminder not to take for granted a precious moment in youth – her senior year of high school at Sacred Heart Academy.

At just 17 years of age, Cami Burruss embarked on her poignant photography project last May 31, inspired by the question, “Did you live each day, or just survive?” Snapping pictures of her daily life for the next 366 days, she recorded the most significant memories she experienced in one (leap) year and accompanied each image with touching lyrics, poems and thought-provoking descriptions.

“Each day I would try to find something that captured the most significant moment or something that would actually make me remember what happened that day,” Burruss said of her work, titled “Project 365.” “I go through a week then forget what I did the week before, so what I really liked about this is, I had every single day laid out. Pretty much taking the picture itself at least made me go out and do something, so I can for the most part say that I remember what happened every day.”

The images weren’t only meaningful to Burruss’ life, but also triggered an emotional response from many who viewed part of her project posted on Facebook. One such person was Paula Weyler, Burruss’ relative and co-owner of Revelry Boutique-Gallery, 980 Barret Ave.

“I just started seeing the pictures and I just loved what she was doing: the combination of the picture and the text to capture the day,” Weyler said. “They were really good. And so I approached her about doing a show and we had a whole talk, and I was like, ‘you’re not getting the show because I know you or we’re related; you’re getting the show because your work is good. So if you’re going to do it you have to take it seriously and you have to put together quality work.’ ”

Burruss did just that. She selected around 30 of her favorite photos of the 365 and ones she felt were her strongest work to be displayed inside of Revelry Boutique. Adding an extra element to the project, she printed the images on a variety of surfaces and mounted each with found and created objects in order to construct her mixed media masterpiece.

Now 18 years old, Burruss took her first photography class as a junior at Sacred Heart Academy – hard to believe considering her quality of work. This Fall, she’ll study art and pre-med at Wake Forest University, where she earned the Presidential Scholarship for Art for her submission of “Project 365.” In the meantime, Burruss – Revelry boutique’s youngest ever featured artist – will exhibit her project inside the shop through Aug. 14. Since opening “Project 365” on July 20, many of her pieces have already been marked for purchase by gallery attendees.

“(We, at Revelry) try to look for ways to create art that’s affordable and accessible to all different buyers and then also to give artists a chance to have access to the market,” Weyler said. “(We include) work from those high-end artists to real young emerging artists. We’ve never had anyone as young as Cami, by far, but she did such an amazing show. … We’re really happy with the way it turned out. What she did by taking more of a story, and then the mixed media elements and the text, it just gives it a whole different element that’s beyond the photographs.”

Revelry Boutique-Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.revelrygallery.com.

Contact writer Ashley Anderson at aanderson@voice-tribune.com, 502.498.2051.

Photos by ASHLEY ANDERSON | The Voice-Tribune

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Ashley Anderson

Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).

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