Cary Arts Organizations: Cary Photographic Artists

Cary, NC — To thank Cary’s nonprofit arts organizations that have kept us all entertained before and during the pandemic, we started up a series last month to share their stories and to highlight any upcoming performances, displays, or galleries.

This month we’re taking a closer look at Cary Photographic Artists.

History & Mission

The Cary Photographic Artists organization was founded in January 2007 by Cary resident, Bobbi Hopp, who passed away in 2015.  As an artist, photographer and activist for the arts, she knew that photography was not always accepted on an equal footing with painting, etching, sculpture, and other visual art forms. Her goal was to have photography assume its rightful place as a fine art.

“I have lived in Cary for the last three years and have been honored to be president for the last year. I feel that I stand on the shoulders of Bobbi Hopp, and all those before me, who have worked to enhance photographic art as a part of Cary community life,” said Jon Meyer, current president of Cary Photographic Artists.

CPA’s mission spans across these four areas:

  • Teaching and sharing a passion for photography
  • Establishing a forum for those with an interest in the art of photography
  • Supporting the development of photographic skills and an artistic eye
  • Expanding and enhancing photographic art in Cary

According to Meyer, the group strives toward the last goal by sponsoring continuing education in photographic artistry and techniques for beginners to advanced photographers. The artist group also provides opportunities to display photographic art, sponsors educational programs for kids, and plans outings to spots that inspire photography.

“Our ultimate mission is to be an integral part of the Town of Cary art community,” said Meyer.

Town Reopening Will Bring Return to Normal Meetings

Like everyone else, Cary Photographic Artists were impacted by Covid-19 which required them to shift meetings, programs, and art shows to online media.

“We are just now getting word about the Town of Cary re-opening, which could not be more welcome,” said Meyer. “We are planning a return to normality. We look forward to resuming meetings in the Cary Theater from 6:30 to 9:00 PM on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month.

“Old Shoes Red Bucket and Time for a Diaper Change” by Jon Meyer.
Artist statement: “The old shoes on the left and the red bucket on the right set the boundaries of the image. In the middle, the little guy who needs a diaper change is being brought to the beach “changing station” and is a source of fascination for his older brother and sister. I observed this family scene courtesy of a telephoto lens. The colors are muted because it was a ground-glass gray day and the wind was whipping surf into the air as a kind of low-grade fog.”

New Members Always Welcomed

These meetings are open to the public, and all are truly welcome. At each meeting, there is a program illustrating and exploring an aspect of photographic art. The meetings are announced on the CPA website,, and Meetup.

The best source of information on Cary Photographic Artists is their website, which has schedules, program information, and a link to join the club and its 85 members/photographers. Everyone with an interest in photography is welcome to join for an annual fee of $40 per individual and $60 for a family.

You can attend programs and outings as a non-member, but as a member, there are the added benefits of participation in educational critiques, shows, and courses. You can also have some tongue-in-cheek fun every year with our Patrick Barkley Challenge in which common objects are photographed in unusual ways.

“We try to figure out what they are and vote for the most creative image. It is a chance for innovation, surprise, and a good laugh,” said Meyer.

Cary Photographic Artists welcomes new members. It is a universal experience that joining a camera club brings new friends and multiplies the enjoyment of photography. The Cary Photographic Artists welcome everyone from beginner to professional, smartphone shooters to high-end camera buffs, and both digital and film shooters.

“Lifting the Light” by Maurice Weaver.
Artist statement: “It was an icy cold night in 2018 when the eight of us family and friends visited the Chinese Lantern Festival at Koka Booth Amphitheatre. In spite of the cold, we enjoyed the lantern festival. Wanting less to carry, I chose my Nikon P610 SuperZoom for the night. The lighted creations made for good photo subjects. The stage performances were very popular, so I was unable to get very close to make this shot. The P610 Zoom saved the shot. 1/50sec @ f/5.6, 70mm (400mm, 35mm equiv), ISO 1600. Postprocessing in LR Classic and Photoshop CC.”

Upcoming Programs and Shows

Keep an eye out for more announcements surrounding the fall 2021 return of the group’s prestigious, national Juried Show which is annually hung in the Cary Senior Center and is open to the public.

Later in the fall, the group will also be scheduling their Members Art Show, which is open to the public and will be hung in the Cary Arts Center.

“In the past, we have also shown our work in Glenaire, Wake Med Hospital,  and the Page-Walker Arts and History Center.  We look forward to doing it again, pending the re-opening of these spaces,” said Meyer.

Before the pandemic, the artists also sponsored a well-respected educational program in camera arts for middle schoolers, providing the cameras and the mentors. Meyer says the group can’t wait to get back to it. They also sponsor occasional camera outings to gardens, parks, and other sites where interested photographers can informally meet and rub elbows with fellow enthusiasts.

For more on these and more details as they come out for the other shows and programs, check-in on their website and Meetup for the dates and directions.

Story by Ashley Kairis and Jon Meyer. Photos by Cary Photographic Artists member Maurice Weaver and President Jon Meyer.

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