New Kensington Digicam Membership’s “Americana” at Pittsburgh Mills mall in Frazer is rural, patriotic, nostalgic

“Americana” is more than a genre for the New Kensington Camera Club — it’s everyday life for area photographers.

The works of 17 local photographers are showcased in the new exhibit, “Americana,” at the Pittsburgh Mills mall until Sept. 4.

“We decided to do Americana history — rural, patriotic and nostalgic,” said Joel Varga, of Harmar, president of the camera club, which operates the Focus on the Arts gallery in the Pittsburgh Mills mall in Frazer.

Images include a girl in 1950s attire posing at Clark’s Diner in Lower Burrell, Amish farm country, a faded American flag on an old barn, the Whip ride at Kennywood Park and more.

“The exhibit transports you to the past or another setting where you don’t live,” Varga said. “Some of the photos make you feel patriotic.”

Some people order prints for most of the photos, which are priced on average for $25.

Entry into the gallery is free.

The photographs for “Americana” have already been critiqued by a panel of independent judges.

Coming in at fourth place was a shot of revelers riding “The Whip” at Kennywood Park by new camera club member Eileen Ross, of Cheswick.

“I never imagined I’d win,” said Ross who entered the contest on a whim. She was going through old photographs and found the one featuring the whip ride at Kennywood Park, which was taken in 2012.

The Whip is pure Americana. It’s Kennywood’s oldest flat ride, which debuted in 1919.

Ross, a longtime amateur photographer who is an administrative assistant at PNC Bank, took the Whip photo to capture her daughter, Rachel, who was just 12 at the time.

“I liked the kids’ expressions, the colors and just the way it was staged,” she said.

Ross looks forward to doing more with the camera club and its gallery at Pittsburgh Mills.

“There’s lots of great photography there,” she said. “It’s a hidden gem.”

Besides the exhibit, the gallery is displaying the work of 22 photographers and artists.

Most of the photos and artwork are for sale from $35, for many photos, to $800, for some of the paintings.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, or via Twitter .

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