By MIKE CHAIKEN
Local photographer John Atashian is putting the focus on some familiar faces of Southington with a new exhibit of his work.
Captured over the past 20 years, Atashian’s exhibit, “Faces of Southington,” features 60 photographs of over 100 familiar faces from the town of Southington. The exhibit includes images of the town’s late town manager, John Weichsel, as well as Gail DePaolo, Chris Palmieri, Melissa and Charlie Cocuzza, Mary DeCroce, Julie Wallace, Teresa and Mike Soltis, Andy and Fran Meade, Jim and Rosemary Champagne, Gary Brumback, Jack Eisenmann, John Meyers, and more.
The exhibit is being hosted at Paul Gregory’s Bistro Café in Southington.
“I have been photographing the leaders and key players in the town of Southington for the (Southington) Chamber of Commerce, (Southington) YMCA and the United Way (of Southington) since 1995 and many of these great people are slowly going away,” said Atashian, who has lived, worked, and raised his family in Southington since 1995. “I was seeing the faces in town slowly change.”
“I have had this idea for the several years to pull out all of my best photos of the most familiar faces that I have captured in town for everyone to remember and enjoy,” said Atashian.
“I want all of these great faces from Southington to be enjoyed and remembered by all.”
Most recently, Atashian received some attention for his concert photography due to a traveling exhibit that featured his work from the past 39 years.
However, Atashian said, “I would think most people in town know me as a commercial photographer that works with businesses and the general public.”
A full-time commercial photographer, Atashian said he has worked for ESPN, UConn Health, Central Connecticut State University, Bristol Hospital, Trinity College and many others.
“Special event coverage, on location portraits, product photography are examples of my daily photography work,” said Atashian.
“I love capturing events and making people look their very best,” said the Southington photographer. “I have gotten really good over the years at capturing the peak candid moments and expressions, which make for the best and most memorable photos.”
“I also enjoy being low key and blending into the environment, which allows me to capture real and natural looking images,” said Atashian. “It is fun and rewarding.”
Selecting the photographs for the new show wasn’t too difficult, said Atashian. “I have all of my photos online and available to view and edit and I have done a fair job over the years of editing out all of very best images in the category of Southington related photos.”
The stage was set to bring the new photographic exhibit to Paul Gregory’s when Atashian showed his concert photography there last year.
“They say that show was one of their most popular displays to date,” said Atashian. “So they added me on their display list for one year later and knew I wanted to do something new and different.”
After “Faces of Southington” wraps up its run at Paul Gregory’s, Atashian said the exhibit will be moving around Southington to different locations so others can check it out.
John Atashian’s “Faces of Southington” is on display at Paul Gregory’s, 148 Center St. in Southington May 1 to 30.