Travel the world with Steve Cozad’s photographs at the Solano Downtown Gallery

FAIRFIELD – Local artists have found a myriad of ways to express “Sea, Winds, Storms and Fog”, opening Wednesday at the downtown Solano gallery.

Retired Construction Manager and 28-year Fairfield resident Steve Cozad employs photography.

Five years ago, when he retired, he and his wife, Angie Cozad, began their journey in the world in earnest. The couple spent time in Iceland last year. Next year the destination is Antarctica.

Cozad’s parents worked in the airline industry, but the family did not travel much, he said.

Steve and Angie Cozad took their sons on trips to national parks and a few international trips like Costa Rica and Egypt. It was this last trip that gave young men the travel bug.

Both are now involved in creative art, photography and special effects.

Now, with empty nests, the couple can define their own travel times.

The couple were in Chile in March 2020 and “barely pulled out the last plane” as Covid-19 hit the world.

“We got back to the United States before everything was closed,” he said, adding that they had been following the news of Covid-19 and were able to complete the trip.

Cozad estimated he was around 20 when he bought his first camera.

“I’ve always loved taking pictures,” he says. “It was more of a documentary thing.”

He turned slides most of the time. After they were developed, he would go through them and digitize the images he liked.

“They weren’t really of good quality,” he said.

But they told the story.

Cozad went digital in 2007. At the same time, he devoted himself more to photography.

“The digital age has opened a lot,” he said. “It allowed me to add an artistic side.

Cozad learned from YouTube videos and signed up for webinars in Lightroom.

He recently started printing his own photos. He also found a great system to narrow down his choices. The decision is not taken in haste.

“Some that I’m starting to recognize better than others,” he said, protesting with a black and white photo of Venice, Italy, in 2016.

His exhibition at the Solano city center gallery is made up entirely of black and white photos. The idea surfaced when he was at the Sacramento Arts Festival in the fall and received several compliments for his only black and white video wall.

Cozad estimates that he has between 30,000 and 35,000 digital images.

“It’s fun to go back and find the little gems that I haven’t seen before,” he said.

Cozad joined the Fairfield-Suisun City Visual Arts Association in 2018 and has been in almost every show since. He won first place in black and white photography and a third place in color photography in the recent jury art exhibition.

His photography has been influenced by professional photographers such as Galen Rowell, Sebastião Salgado, Michael Frye and of course, some of the greats like Ansel Adams, Edward Westin and Imogen Cunningham.

“Sea, Wind, Storms and Fog” runs through February 26 and features photographs; glass and acrylic work; oil paintings and watercolors; and mixed media, collage, woodcarvings, digital art and ceramics.

Gallery guests are encouraged to vote for the People’s Choice Award.

“Sea, wind, storms and fog”

• From Wednesday to February 26
• Downtown Solano Gallery, 1350 Travis Blvd., Fairfield
• 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday
• 707-688-8889