Thoughts on Making: The Pursuit of Art” a presentation by museum technician Robert Colburn of Rockland's Farnsworth Art Museum, will take place for First Light Camera Club Thursday, Jan. 21, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Topsham Medical Building, 4 Horton Place. Members of the public are invited to attend; the event is free for members of FLCC and $10 for guests.

Colburn has focused his employment in numerous art-related fields over several years. At the Farnsworth, he currently is responsible for installing exhibitions; moving, packing and shipping artworks; and acting as a technical liaison to artists or lenders working with the museum. Previous to the Farnsworth, Colburn worked for 13 years at Bayview Gallery in Brunswick, serving as director for five of those years. He received a bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College with a major in studio art in 1996 and is a painter.

Colburn’s talk will touch on several topics: the nature of art; whether there are specific criteria common to all art forms; the intent of the artist; the context in which artwork is shown; the artist’s role in designating their work as “art”; technical skill versus vision and intent; goal setting; and finding an audience. He will discuss some of the criteria curators use for selecting work to exhibit, for example: how well the proposed work fits with the overarching identity of the gallery; issues of pricing; how work complements other artists on the gallery roster; and issues of personal preference on the part of gallery owners.

When asked how he believes photography can influence our times, Colburn said, “The rise of photo sharing sites like Pinterest or applications like Instagram allow the sharing of images with a speed and diversity unprecedented in earlier times. These images can be for entertainment and news-making, as well as becoming part of an artist’s process. Recently, the artist Richard Prince exhibited enlarged photographs of other people’s photographs they posted on Instagram. Though it was highly controversial — was he plagiarizing, or by changing the context of the original image did they become his images? — it speaks to the fluidity in the way we experience photography in our contemporary lives.”

Although not a photographer, Colburn’s experience — especially in installing exhibitions — should shed light on museum and gallery preferences for the presentation of photographs. He recommends the book “The Art Spirit” by Robert Henri as a “useful and enlightening book about the artist’s journey.” His talk should have appeal beyond photographers to art lovers and makers throughout Maine.

Founded in 1990, First Light Camera Club programs include image critiques, photo outings, tech nights, and one-on-one mentoring. For more information email or call 729-6607.