Matt Cegelis and Ruth Schneider are founders of a Bellbrook family-based photography group. Their work reshapes the common prospective of one image photography. Bringing depth of bright colors, drastic shadow play and complex layers of overlays, their pieces take its viewers on a journey that begins from the first piece of work to the next. To round out the experience, they added work of their children, Geneva and Devin Cegelis, making this a whole family adventure.
“We each have our own style, while remaining true to ourselves as artists. So, it puts us all together as one family unit,” Matt explained.
Ruth majored in photography and design. She worked as a freelance photographer before her children were born. She later earned a Master’s degree in Art Education. During her child raising years, Ruth kept her love of photography alive, although minimal. Now, she is back in full force.
Matt, a self-taught photographer, won a national photo contest with US Today and won an admirable digital camera that changed his prospective of the art.
“I loved having immediate digital images show up on my laptop immediately,” Matt said.
“I miss the dark room. I had my own room and I loved it. So, moving to digital has been a huge change for me, because I am no longer working exclusively in black and white,” Ruth stated.
“We have traveled all around the world, and Ruth shoots all the time when we are one the road,” Matt explained.
They have been around the world and experienced a lot of culture. They explored Barcelona, Puerto Rico, Paris, as well as many states in the United States and Canada. Their ability to travel also brings an intriguing spark to their work and offers a step into another culture.
“One of the unique things that we started doing, not exclusively, is that we will put the photos on the computer. I will go back and get an image that I took maybe 10 years ago in Spain and then take an another image that I took from the shadows of the ceiling and merge them with paintings I have done to create a new image,” Ruth said.
“It is very much a trial and error process. We will try hundreds of combinations of images and paintings until we say, “Wow. That is a great picture.” It is a very gradual process and very serendipitous, rather straight shots or abstract,” Matt said.
Ruth looks for unique lights, shapes, color and textures. “I tend to be simpler in my photography,” Ruth said. On the flip side Matt focuses on imagery and memorable designs. “Matt’s work tends to be very complex and deep,” Ruth added. Matt confirmed that his work is very complex and deep and he is looking for that before he releases his work.
Currently their work is displayed in two galleries in Downtown Dayton; The Dayton Visual Arts Center and Connecting Art & Design Community. “I think the next step in this venture is to head down the restaurant and coffee shop lanes. They usually have paintings and pictures on the walls from local artists and I think that it showcases us in a good venue,” Ruth said.
Their work can be found online at cegelisartgroup.photoshelter.com or by visiting The Dayton Visual Arts Center, located at 118 N. Jefferson St. or Connecting Art & Design Community, located at 45 S. Saint Clair St. Downtown Dayton. You may also contact them at (937) 848-8779.