Tonawanda News

May 25, 2013

Derby through the lens

'cOllide-o-scOpe 2013' photography exhibit opens at Carnegie Center

By Jill Keppeler
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — On the track. In the community. Or even on the road. 

The newest exhibit at the Carnegie Art Center offers a look at Western New York’s own Queen City Roller Girls flat-track derby team from behind the lens of the camera — whether it’s a fancy professional set-up or just a fan’s point-and-shoot.

The “cOllide-o-scOpe 2013” exhibit will run through June 1, which is QCRG Day in North Tonawanda. It marks the fourth QCRG-related exhibit at the center on Goundry Street, said Mary Simpson, Carnegie director.

Simpson said that the partnership between the derby league and the center has helped to showcase the historic building to the community as a whole — and put the derby league into the spotlight as well.

“The photos, besides being great pictures, showcase their athleticism, their community commitment and their dedication to their sport,” she said.

Kari Lambright, QCRG director of events, agreed.

“We enjoy having a relationship with the Carnegie and the City of North Tonawanda,” she said. “We appreciate that they welcome us and our crazy activities.”

Seven photographers contributed more than 40 pictures to the juried exhibit, in categories including fans, bouting, off skates and even “zebras,” or the sport’s referees. There is also a wall on which fans can post their own QCRG-related photos.

The entries were judged by photographer Jim Bush of Buffalo, who also has some pictures in the exhibit (although not in the contest). 

“They were great fun. I enjoyed looking at a the images that were submitted,” said Bush, who has been working with the league for years. “I’ve been shooting derby for a long time, and everybody kind of has a different take on it depending what their background is. 

“I enjoy the message even more than the technique and how they did it. I just like a good image.”

First and second place for best in show went to Joe Mac of Toronto. Other photographers, both professional and amateur, with images in the show include Glenn Murray, Jim Eichinger, Troy N. Teague, Marie Simoncelli and Jeff “ShockHer” Parker, 

Lambright — whose daughter appears in one of Mac’s prize-winning photos — raved about his work.

“Somehow with his photography he picks up not just the action, but the personality,” she said. “Somehow he captures a piece of them.”

The exhibit runs through June 1, when the photographs (which were donated by their photographers) will be auctioned off with the money donated to the Carnegie Center. 

QCRG Day will also feature a chicken barbecue benefitting the center, music by the band Pine Fever and other festivities starting at 3 p.m. At 5:45 p.m., the Parade of the Cup featuring all the QCRG skaters, bagpipers, “zombies” and more will take place to the Rainbow Roller Rink on Oliver Street, where doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for the championship bout at 7:30 p.m.

Until then, derby fans or those just curious about the sport can get a feel for it by visiting the exhibit from noon to 3 p.m. Wednesdays through Friday and noon to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

IF YOU GO • WHAT: "cOllide-o-scOpe 2013" • WHEN: The exhibit runs through June 1. • WHERE: Carnegie Art Center, 240 Goundry St., North Tonawanda.