“Spotlight on Photography” exhibit, “Focus on Photography” contest, featured at Banning Art Gallery

BANNING, Calif. — The Banning Art Gallery is proudly presenting their newest exhibit, “Spotlight on Photography,” featuring the works of So Cal photographers: Michele Morton, Greg Vojtko and Steve Rich. The exhibit is being featured from now until July 29th.

Along with the show the gallery is hosting a photo competition, “Focus on Photography”, with entries being accepted June 18th through June 30th.

Featuring artwork, including paintings, hand-woven baskets, whimsical ceramic pieces, hand crafted jewelry and more by artists from around the area, the Banning Art Gallery is free and open to the public from Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.


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For the gallery’s newest “Spotlight on Photography” exhibit the art gallery is spotlighting three talented local photographers.

Michelle Morton’s photography is being featured as part of Banning Art Gallery’s current “Spotlight on Photography” exhibit. Banning Art Gallery photo

Michelle Morton is the novice of the three featured photographers, having begun working in photography after retiring as a nurse and family nurse practitioner. Proud daughter of Navy parents, she was born on Coronado Island California.  

“My artistic expression comes in the form of Inverted Photography and Fine Art Photography,” she states. Her photography can be found in several So Cal Galleries. She is also displayed in the Banning Art Galleries 2021 calendar and other gallery

One of the few photographers still working in a darkroom to create his award-winning photography, Steve Rich has 30 years experience working with both digital and film formats. Banning Art Gallery photo

Award Winning Photographer Steve Rich was born and raised in Southern California. He has over 30 years experience as a commercial advertising and fine art photographer, working with both digital and film formats.

One of the few photographers still working in the darkroom to produce archival silver gelatin prints that may be tinted or hand colored, Rich hand tints some of his pieces which causes the viewer to take a closer look at is photography and the subject matter.

Rich has an uncanny ability to capture light on his works whether in black and white or color and prefers to shoot his images as a series, giving a broader sensibility and understanding to the subject matter.

With nearly four decades experience as a photographer, Greg Vojtko uses his education in fine arts to produce his stunning photographs. Banning Art Gallery photo

Inland Empire photographer Greg Vojtko has nearly four decades experience as a newspaper photojournalist and corporate communications photographer. Combined with his education in fine arts, his photographic results show with stunning results.

His recent focus has been largely on local pieces: from sunrise ventures to capturing the windmills of Cabazon, to a captivating three panel panoramic view of the Pass area mountains covered in snow.

The public is invited to a free public meet and greet reception for the featured trio to be held at the gallery July 10, 5 to 7pm. Along with the meet and greet the winners to the galleries photography competition will be announced.


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Continuing with the theme of photography, the Banning Art Gallery is hosting a competition “Focus on Photography.” The gallery will begin accepting entries on Friday June 18 and will accept contestants until June 30. The entries are open to anyone 18 years of age and older.

Entries can be about any subject matter within guidelines and will fit in two categories: natural photos or altered state photography.

The Banning Art Gallery’s newest exhibit, “Spotlight on Photography,” features the works of So Cal photographers: Michele Morton, Greg Vojtko and Steve Rich. The exhibit is being featured from now until July 29th.

Natural photos are considered to be ones produced using only basic cropping balance, tint tones and contrast. Any photos manipulated using extreme contrast, altering effects, digital pens and such will fit into the altered states portion of the

The public is invited to visit the gallery as jurors to vote in the first round of the competition from June 22 to July 2, Tuesday through Saturday 11am to 3 pm. You may vote once in each category every day the gallery is open. The top three winners from each category will advance to the finals which will be judge by guest judges and announce on July 10, at the reception.

Entry forms, guidelines and rules are available online at CulturalAllianceofthePass.org, Banning Art Gallery on Facebook, and at the Banning Art Gallery, 42 W Ramsey Ste C (next to the Fox theater.)

For more information about either of the events, visit Banning Art Gallery online or on Facebook.

The Banning Art Gallery is located at 42 W Ramsey Suite C, Banning, CA 92220. The phone number is (951) 849-3993. Website is CulturalAllianceArts.org.

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.

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