We are thrilled to collaborate with the Artists Association of Nantucket this year to feature their talented artist members. The AAN is a non-profit organization supporting Nantucket artists, providing educational programs in the arts, and preserving the legacy of Nantucket artists. Visit their website, their gallery at 19 Washington Street, their studio at 24 Amelia Drive, or give them a call at (508) 228-0294.
Meet the Artists – Ray Saunders
Interviews conducted by Artistic Director and Artist Member, Bobby Frazier to learn a bit more about our Artist Members’ background, creative processes, and Nantucket connections.
Ray, do you primarily work in photography of the landscape and seascape?
Primarily seascape because I love being around the water. But what I really look for is any scene or subject that makes an interesting image. That could be at the ocean, in the mountains, in a small town or in the city. The light rules any scene. I should add that I also love photographing people. I did more of that during my career as a journalist.
What started you on photography as an art?
Before I picked up a camera as a young boy I was constantly sketching and painting. As I became more interested in photography, the mediums easily overlapped. I would use a camera to capture a scene then sketch or paint that scene. By the time I graduated high school it was all about photography.
Something brought you to the island?
My current wife, Susan Berman, and I had been friends and bandmates (we’re musicians) for many years starting when she lived near me in Maryland. Then Susan moved to Nantucket, my wife died and several years later Susan and I began a long-distance relationship. Once I retired as a photo editor at The Washington Post, I began spending more time on the island, and Susan and I were married.
How has your experience here changed your art?
Nantucket is a visually rich place and I find photo opportunities everywhere. The island expanded what I was already doing rather than change it. I have a longtime home on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. I am lucky to live in two visually rich places.
Please reveal some of your favorite local subjects and hidden scenes?
Being on the water for race week ranks near the top. The Creeks Preserve is a lovely spot. Sconset never disappoints. That includes Sankaty light at sunrise, sunset or moonrise. Just about any place on a foggy day. And the annual events on the island are so much fun to photograph – Daffy weekend, July Fourth, and Stroll. I would like to stress the ability of a camera in the right hands to capture a moment. A moment that can be lost forever if not captured by the press of a shutter. That is powerful and wonderful.
Where can we see your work?
As a member of the Artists Association of Nantucket you can see my work at the many gallery shows and the summer sidewalk shows. I often contribute to the online and print publications on island. You can also visit my website rayksaundersphotography.com and I am a member of the Artworks at 7th gallery in North Beach, Maryland.