Couple donates photos to COA
Published 8:33 am Monday, December 30, 2013
As the person who is responsible for the building’s transformation, it is only fitting that Dale Pallas artwork is the first thing that catches visitor’s eyes at the Front Street Crossing café.
Pallas and his wife, Nancy, were asked to donate his collection of photos depicting the many statues throughout the city of Dowagiac for the location by the Cass County Council on Aging, who occupy the Front Street Crossing building.
“His pictures on the wall fit together beautifully with both the café and the city,” Nancy said.
Pallas has been capturing photographs of the city’s statues since 1995, he said, and has worked with his wife to create a brochure about the art pieces for the Dogwood Fine Arts Festival.
“I just love the sculptures,” Pallas said. “I admire the amount of creativity that must have went into their creation. They’re things of beauty.”
Through his photography, Pallas said he hoped to raise the awareness throughout the region of the local artwork.
“A town of this size is so fortunate to have this many sculptures,” he said. “Some people aren’t even aware that they exist.”
Pallas has been involved with photography for nearly his entire life, he said. When he was 7 years old, his uncle gave him his first camera as a Christmas gift, which sparked his passion for the art. He and his wife eventually started their own downtown photography studio, Cherished Memories Photography, which they ran for many years.
“I liked photography as a hobby, and I found out it was a very profitable one,” he said. “Our business’ motto used to be, ‘we don’t take pictures, we create pictures.’”
Pallas was approached by Thelda Matthews, the chair of the Dogwood Visual Arts Committee, to contribute his art for an exhibit inside the Front Street Crossing building last year. Matthews had worked with Pallas and his wife in the past to create materials for the Dogwood Festival.
“I was honored by her request,” Pallas said. “I know there were others in town who could have done it, but she asked me.”
The photographer said he spent the last year compiling his work, reshooting many of the statues to capture the perfect image for the exhibit. The council finally placed his work on the wall earlier this month, just in time for their annual Christmas celebration.
It was due to Pallas’s persistence that the council was able to turn the Crossing into one of its two satellite buildings in. Pallas, who has worked with the organization alongside his wife for many years, took the initiative in the search for a new Dowagiac location, eventually determining that the old KFC building on Front Street would serve the council’s needs.
“Because we’re dealing with the elderly, location means everything,” Pallas said. “This building had sat idle for many years, and the price was right.”
Both the Pallas couple and the council have received nothing but positive praise for the photograph display, which Dale said he will update whenever the city receives a new sculpture.