|by Steve Charles • September 29, 2008|
The consummate man behind the lens who works to capture beauty and preserve memories for others, Wabash College Professor Emeritus of Chemistry John Zimmerman H’67 had a Kodak moment of his own Friday night.
Not only did his photograph "San Antonio River Walk" win the Antique Study Club Award at the opening of the Art League of Montgomery County’s Seventh Annual juried Downtown Crawfordsville Art Exhibit, but Zimmerman also was named an honorary member of the Art League.
"That was an absolute surprise," said Zimmerman, whose photography exhibit "Come Travel with Me" graced the Mary Bishop Memorial Art Gallery at the Crawfordsville District Public Library with 95 photographs from around the world earlier this year. "The Honorary Art League citation list includes so many distinguished regional artists. To have my name added to a list that includes Rob O'Dell, Jerry Smith, and Jene Burns—each of whose work hangs in our home—is indeed special."
Zimmerman has spent years supporting local school and community events, recording world travels by Wabash College study groups, setting up technical facilities for art conferences, and photographing special programs. The College’s "official unofficial photographer," "Dr. Z" has helped preserve Wabash history in photographs for decades and was named an honorary alumnus of the College in 2001. He is now one of three Wabash professors—along with painter Greg Huebner and sculptor/photographer Doug Calisch—to be named an honorary member of the Crawfordsville Art League.
Zimmerman described this year’s Crawfordsville Art League show as "simply stunning."
"In my opinion, it is the best to date," he said of the 123 pieces by 66 artists. "The quality is uniformly high over a wide range of media. As I talk with folks about the show, I find my observations to be universally held."
He was impressed by the College’s involvement in the show. Twelve artists with ties to Wabash exhibited, and during Friday’s opening ceremony, four—Steve Miller ’08, Nick Roudebush ’09, Terry Jackson ’71, and Zimmerman—earned honors and cash awards for their art.
Zimmerman also worked behind the scenes of this year’s show and noted that two members of the Wabash family deserved special recognition for their efforts.
"Peggy Herzog coordinated the entire operation with considerable ‘can do’ enthusiasm," Zimmerman said. "And in addition to being a selected entrant, Kim Johnson [the College’s public affairs marketing specialist] is the behind-the-scenes computer-based organizer. She prepares the first rate PowerPoint presentation of all the entries that is the key to efficient judging. She also cranks out all the organization-to-entrant communication as well as the signage that graces each exhibit."
Reflecting on his Art League awards, Zimmerman added, "The high point of winning an award is sharing the joy with others. A case in point: one Art League member came up to me Sunday and said she was "so excited" for me. Another photographer friend mentioned the award and said, ‘It doesn't get any better than that!’"
Wabash community members also exhibiting their work in the Art League show include Susan Albrecht, CJ Charles, Robert Foote, Karen Gunther, Kim Johnson, Steve Morillo, Tom Runge '71, and Molly White. The exhibit continues through October 5 and works can be seen in the downtown shop windows any time of the day or night.
In photo: Art League Award winners from Wabash included Steve Miller ’08, John Zimmerman H’67, and Nick Roudebush ’09. Not pictured: Terry Jackson ’71