In Ingrid Lundahl’s Darkroom | Culture & Leisure
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of being photographed by Ingrid Lundahl, you’ve had the pleasure of meeting her. For over 40 years, Lundahl has captured the essence of Telluride through his unique photographs.
Lundahl was the only guest at the Sheridan Hotel on Christmas Day 1977. She had visited Telluride on a whim. After her stay at the Sheridan was over, she returned to Dallas, packed her bags, grabbed a friend, and rooted in the canyon.
“Telluride was just indescribable. It really was,” Lundahl said.
Since arriving in 1977, she has photographed celebrities, weddings, festivals and locals.
Throughout the month of December, Lundahl’s work was on display at Telluride Arts Headquarters. The installation is titled “Telluride Outlaws: Exposed in Ingrid’s Darkroom”.
Prints and exhibition tapes from 1978 to the early 2000s make the walls of space look like pages from a carefully crafted album. There are images of everything from laughing men and a child peering over a board to scenes from past festivals and mountain scenery. It’s almost as if everything that happened in the canyon has temporarily taken up residence on the walls.
While the installation has been open from noon to 6 p.m. for weeks, the Thursday Art Walk features an opening reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The reception marks the start of a winter season for Telluride Arts. The organization, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, will be opening the Telluride Transfer Warehouse most Friday and Saturday afternoons in December for après-ski events, featuring local musicians.
Lundahl’s photographic installation is an incredible documentation of Telluride’s community and history, according to Austin Halpern, Exhibitions and Events Manager at Telluride Arts.
“Each Ingrid photograph is special in itself, but there is something magical about seeing this whole collection together. It’s not just about individual moments, but collective experiences, and that’s what I find amazing in Ingrid’s work, ”he said.
Behind each of Lundahl’s photographs hides a story, which she is happy to tell. The characters who came to life in his darkroom tell the stories of those who made Telluride what it is today.
“We were so lucky to be young in this city when no one knew the city was there. We took care of each other and nurtured each other. It was just an amazing time, and a lot of those photos, I think, reflect that, “Lundahl said.
One photo that stands out is the image of two men riding a tandem bicycle called “Bad Boys on a Bike”. The black and white image shows a man hunched over the handlebars, pedaling furiously while tilting his head to smile at the camera. Another man is seated in the second seat, holding onto with one hand. He rides like an Amazon, legs crossed, a cigarette between his teeth and a cup of coffee in his hand.
The image, Lundahl explained, was intended to be an advertisement for the tandem bikes sold in the former Paragon Sports store. Store manager J. Michael Brown is the man in the front seat and store owner Ned Mulford is the relaxed passenger.
“I was fascinated by the slow panning back then, so I told them to keep riding next to me. Every time Ned did something funnier. I felt like it summed it up in something. So their relationship. J Michael was the hard worker, and Ned was chilling out while the money came in, “Lundahl recalls.
“Bad Boys on a Bike” was printed as postcards for the show. Halpern, a photographer himself, said it was one of his favorite pieces due to the skill it took to reveal the men on camera.
With a slow shutter, Ingrid panned with the bike, blurring the background and capturing the movement of the bike while keeping the men’s faces perfectly clear. Few still photographs effectively capture the comedy. really makes you laugh, ”said Halpern.
For the installation, Halpern chose small collections like festival and passport photos. For a while, Lundahl was the only one in town to take passport photos. Photos are small with blank backgrounds. On their own they don’t stand out, but as a collection they show an honest and raw portrayal of the people of Telluride.
Lundahl believes that people who were not around when the photos were taken will still appreciate the chance to see what Telluride looked like in “the old days.”
“I hope people realize how much people were smiling and laughing back then.… It was really a wonderful time to be young here,” Lundahl said.
From December 28 to 30, visitors will be able to take the tapes from the walls of the installation as free keepsakes. Lundahl’s book “Telluride: The Outlaw Spirit of a Colorado Town” and prints are on sale at the facility. The book can also be found in local bookstores and on Amazon.
To learn more about Lundahl and for more information about Telluride Arts and upcoming events, visit telluridearts.org.