‘A Palate of Shadows’ opens at Klehm Nov. 15

Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden will host “A Palate of Shadows,” a photography exhibit by Michelle Princer, from Nov. 15 through Jan. 31, 2007.

In the light of day, or partially hidden in the darkness, this diverse exploration in black and white is a mixture of people, nature, vintage objects and whatever else catches the creative eye of Princer.

“It seems like I have been an art student all my life,” said Princer, chef/owner of Toni’s of Winnebago, a casual restaurant in Winnebago.

Princer’s art is just like her culinary creations: with her trademark originality and dynamic personality, she cooks up a varied and eclectic menu of both visual and gastromic masterpieces.

Growing up on a dairy farm with two brothers in a small town in rural western Michigan, Michelle began her interest in the arts at Tri County High School. Photography was an easy medium for recording her travels. “I could always ‘click’ a memory and record a moment in time,” she said of photography.

Princer attended Johnson and Wales College in Charleston, S.C., as a culinary student.

“You learn about cooking in college, but you become a chef by working everyday with food,” she said. “You cannot come out of culinary school and think, ‘I am a chef.’ It is a learning process.”

The same can be said for her photography.

“I cannot, in all honesty, call myself a photographer; I am just a self-taught picture-taker with a good eye,” she said.

Princer said “black and white is just as expressive as color, maybe more so. With its depth of shadow, expressive contrast and visual texture, it really makes the photos appear to be three dimensional,” she added.

“A Palate of Shadows” is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. An opening reception is set for 5 to 8 p.m., Nov. 15.

From the Nov. 15-21, 2006, issue

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