The Best of Beacon

Photo by Dan Calabrese: “The mallard was being very patient with me as I waded into the water. I was lucky to catch him mid-quack.”

Photographers’ group mounts annual show

By Alison Rooney

For its fifth annual member show — after four at the Howland Public Library — the Beacon Photography Group headed west to the larger confines, and two levels, of the Howland Cultural Center.

This year’s exhibit, which continues through July 28, includes the work of 20 photographers. A few photos are shared here with each artist’s response to the question: “What prompted you to take this shot?”

The group was created on Facebook six years ago by Tom Conroy and Michael Bogdanffy-Kriegh. “We kept it loose: a connection to Beacon and an interest in photography were the criteria” to join, Conroy recalls of the group, which has grown to more than 400 members.

Four years ago, Michelle Rivas of the Howland library contacted Conroy and Bogdanffy-Kriegh to ask about mounting a show. Each exhibit has a theme: food and drink, music, conflict resolution and autumn in the Hudson Valley.

Coming Up

The Beacon Photography Group has issued a call for submissions for its next show, Vintage Visions, which will be presented at the Howland Public Library in October. The theme will be vintage objects shown in present day. See for guidelines. The deadline is Aug. 31.

Photo by Thomas Orlando: “I’ve learned to always have my equipment with me when I drive past Canopus Lake on my way to work each morning.”

This year the group went without a theme, and “the response was amazing,” says Conroy, who serves on the cultural center’s board. “We thought we’d use this as an opportunity for our members to show what they can do.” They also increased the submission limit from 5 to 10 photos, with each participant having at least one photo selected.

About two-thirds of the submissions were Beacon-specific. “There is so much beauty here, so much to love,” says Conroy, who teaches sociology at Lehman College and moved to Beacon with his wife in 2006.

Though the group is largely nonprofessional, there are a few exceptions, including Ross Corsair, whose work has won many awards for The Current. “We don’t meet in person regularly, though we’re hoping to do more of that,” Conroy says. “We’d like to see more teenagers and kids get involved.”

The Howland Cultural Center is located at 477 Main St. Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. To join the group, see

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