Award-winning photographer Jasmine Massions is displaying her work during the Final Friday event at Artist Central Gallery and Studios. Massions, who lives in Wichita, said that she believes that beauty is everywhere – whether it’s in a giraffe munching in a meadow or the intricate patterns of chains wrapped around a door.
“The world is my studio,” Massions said. “I get my inspiration from the world around me.”
Massions has been taking pictures since she was 8. Until recently, she shot lifestyle portraits and commercial photography for friends and family. But in October, Massions was asked to present a show at Clifton Square. Since then, she had a show at another gallery and has several works on permanent display at Eaton Venue downtown. She is also negotiating to show photos in the Philippines.
“It’s amazing,” Massions said. “All of a sudden it comes knocking at your door, and you say, ‘Come on in.’ It’s like a dream come true.”
Although Massions studied social sciences in college, photography is her passion. A self-taught artist, she has taken only one photography class – she skipped beginners and went straight to intermediate.
Raised in Kansas and the Philippines, she is at home in different landscapes. Massions said that when she looks at just about any object or animal, she sees a photograph.
“Her photographs range from realistic to surreal,” said Jo Zakas, the owner and director of Artist Central. “She has so much energy that she puts into her photographs.”
Zakas said that Massions’ bubbly personality, hard work and trained eye come through in her photographs.
Nine of the artist’s photographs will be on display at the gallery. All the frames are also handcrafted by Massions.
Massions said that she hopes to capture the world through different angles and share her photographs with others. Although Massions may juxtapose real images with her artistic eye, the images in the photographs are recognizable. By photographing just the neck of a guitar or the belly of a pregnant woman, Massions forces viewers to challenge their perceptions and see the world differently. A close-up of a camel might force the viewer to study the animal’s emotions, just as a photograph showing the intricate craftsmanship delineated on the railing of a downtown Wichita bridge shows that not only is the bridge functional, but designed with beauty in mind.
“She photographs an ordinary item and it comes to life evoking images of the viewer,” Zakas said.