Lisa Campbell stands next to her winning entry in the National Juried Art Show. Her multiple-photo illustration, “Mission of Honor,” won the Liberal artist $1,100 and first place in the photography category at the show. L&T photo/Robert Pierce
By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
Lisa Campbell has a son in the military currently serving in Kuwait. He had served previously in Iraq.
Campbell and her husband, Gentry, ride with the Patriot Guard Riders, an organization begun in 2005 to help protect those attending military funerals from protestors.
As the mother of a soldier and a member of the Patriot Guard, the military is a topic close to Campbell’s heart, and in July 2010, she and Gentry attended the funeral of Spc. Jared Plunk of Turpin, Okla., who lost his life earlier that year in Afghanistan.
Campbell took several photographs at that funeral, and a collage of those pictures is now on display at the Baker Arts Center in Liberal. She took home first prize in the photography category at the recent National Juried Art Show with her entry, “Mission of Honor.”
Campbell said with her son serving in the military, honor and support for troops is an issue that is truly important to her.
“I just wanted to pay my respects to the Plunk family and to all our soldiers and the sacrifices they make for us and their families,” she said.
Campbell said the group of pictures now hanging in the gallery at Baker Arts is a culmination of five photographs she had taken at the Plunk funeral.
“I had taken several on the actual day of the funeral and the Patriot Guard mission,” she said. “I had taken the image of the head stone later after it was put up. I just wanted to make a tribute to our fallen soldiers who have sacrificed for us and to let them know that we honor them and respect them and that their sacrifice doesn’t go forgotten.”
Campbell said she wanted to capture the essence of battle, in addition to honoring Plunk and other troops.
“War is kind of a dirty, gritty thing,” she said. “I added the texture to the photo just to give it a sense of the grittiness of war and just to show the honor and respect.”
Campbell said she has been interested in photography most of her life.
“I actually started taking photographs in 4-H as a child when I was about 9 or 10 years old,” she said.
Campbell said about two years ago, she started getting more involved with shooting pictures. This helped her develop a style and experiment with different things, as well as entering art shows and contest such as Baker Arts’.
In that time, she has entered many art shows including:
o Finalist in the 2010 Cowboys and Indians Photo Contest. Her photo, “Foal” was published in the March 2010 issue of Cowboys and Indians Magazine;
o Her photo “Bee Pretty” was accepted into the 2010 National Juried Arts Show at Baker Arts;
o She entered the 2010 Hays Art Council’s Smoky Hill Art Exhibition. She had two entries, “Railcars In Winter” and “Morning Flight,” with “Railcars” helping her win $150; and
o Campbell also had two entries in the 2011 Smoky Hills Art Exhibition with “Independence Day 2010” and “Elsa.”
The Liberal photographer also entered “Morning Flight” in the Juried Art Show, and like most in the picture business, she has her own idea of what makes a good photo.
“Something that captures your emotions,” she said. “That’s kind of the first thing. It makes you feel something. Once you have that emotional reaction to begin with, then maybe that photograph makes you think about things more. It expands your view on how you look at a certain subject.”
Campbell was honored to be recognized for her work at the Baker Arts show.
“I feel very humbled and honored to have received this award,” she said. “There are some incredible pieces of work here by artists all over the United States. It’s an incredible honor to receive this award.”
Campbell likewise expressed gratitude for those who have helped her in her efforts and keeping the arts alive.
“I’d just like to thank Baker Arts for all their support of artistic endeavors for people in this area,” she said. “It’s really important that we have outlet for these things. The staff here at Baker Arts is incredible about doing that. I’d like to thank all of the businesses that support it. I’d like to thank my husband, Gentry, for making my frames for me for all the exhibits and supporting me in this endeavor.”