Don’t know about you folks, but I know where I’ll be at 6 pm tonight – attending the opening reception for Tru-Vue, a bad-ass photo exhibit at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center.

I say “bad-ass” with confidence even though I haven’t yet seen the exhibit; I know it’s going to be good because of the photographers involved – Jill Johnson, Tom Pennington and Loli Kantor.

I worked with award-winning photographers Jill Johnson and Tom Pennington at the Star-Telegram for several years and was consistently blown away by their work. I enjoyed them as people too.


Tom struck me as friendly but also serious and studious, and his personality shows in his work. He was among the first group of photographers to head to Iraq after the United States started bombing that country and he sent back some incredible photos. He also trekked to Afghanistan to stick his nose and camera lens into some dangerous situations there.

I also recall a night or two in his backyard, drinking beer and playing guitar with Tom, Jill, and other Star-T shooters.

Pardon the icky alliteration, but Jill Johnson is a joy. Her friendly and boisterous personality was always welcome around the newsroom, and her photos were reminiscent of her self – fun, interesting, and striking. She’s the type of photographer who could be assigned to take a picture of an asphalt parking lot and she’d come back with something unique and eye-catching.

Tom and Jill (and myself) have left the Star-Telegram in our rearview mirrors and moved on to other things. I’m glad to see they are still taking great photos and getting them seen by the public.

I haven’t said anything about Loli Kantor yet because I don’t know her. But if she’s hanging with Tom and Jill she must have some street cred. Her web site bio shows she is an independent fine art and documentary photographer, living in Fort Worth Texas since 1984, born in Paris, France, raised in Te Aviv, Israel, and with a keen interest in cultures and community. In 2005 she completed a five-year photographic essay on the Hip Pocket Theatre and is documenting North Texas artists. Her work has been widely exhibited in the US, and internationally in the Czech Republic, Poland and Ukraine.

Exhibition Dates: Friday, June 5, 2009 – Monday, June 29, 2009
Opening Reception: tonight from 6 to 9 pm at Fort Worth Community Arts Center, 1300 Gendy Street, near the Amon Carter Museum
(817) 738-1938