ALEXANDRIA, VA – The ringing of bells will soon fill the air. At 2 p.m. on New Year’s Day, the third annual National Bell Festival takes place, an event that encourages harmony through the music of bells nationwide. Churches and cathedrals are invited to join in the celebration, as well as parks and memorials. Individuals are welcomed too.
Daniel Horowitz, an Alexandria-based photographer, has been selected as the Official Festival Artist for 2022.
What is the purpose of the Official Festival Artist? The Zebra reached out to Paul Ashe, Director of the National Bell Festival, for an explanation.
“Each year, our Official Festival Artist helps us bring the beauty of bells even closer to people by showcasing bells and bell towers as true works of art,” he said. “Whether through oil paints, watercolors, photography, digital illustration, or any other medium, the Official Festival Artist captures visually what everyone hears: fabulous ringing in the New Year!”
For his interpretation of bells as art, Horowitz has selected a still photograph of the Netherlands Carillion, the 127-foot-high bell tower in Arlington, a gift from the Dutch after World War II. The landmark – designed by Dutch architect Joost W. C. Boks and dedicated in May 1960 – has 52 bells, including ones recently installed to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Elanor Roosevelt, and Secretary George C. Marshall. It is currently undergoing renovation and is expected to be rededicated in early 2022.
When asked about his reaction to being named the Official Festival Artist, Horowitz told The Zebra,”I learned about the selection on Dec. 9 and naturally I was delighted. I’ve always loved bells and belfries and the sound of bells, and so I was thrilled to be selected as the 2022 Festival Artist. Plus the photograph of the Netherlands Carillon is definitely one of my favorites from 2021.”
Horowitz’s image, titled “Netherlands Carilllon, Moonlight,” will be featured on the cover of the official festival guide. A limited edition of 50 copies will be available, with the money raised helping to restore bells and bell towers throughout the United States.
The photo is a six-minute exposure, taken during September’s Harvest Moon. At the shoot, he used a tripod weighted down by a sandbag and exposed the image for that exact amount of time. That night, the sky had broken cloud cover, and the clouds were drifting past the tower during the exposure.
The photographer shared that in this image, “the pillowy forms of the moving clouds seem to emphasize the geometric solidity of the bell tower, which looks very still and resilient.” He added: “The moonlight brings out a lot of subtle reflections on the sides of the tower, which are not so perceptible during the daytime.”
Horowitz trained in photography at the Art League School, the Rhode Island School of Design, MassArt, and the Capital Photography Center. His work has been featured in The Zebra, the Alexandria Times, and the Naval Historical Society Magazine. It has been displayed at various locations around the city, including the Alexandria Black History Museum, the Athenaeum, and the Art League Gallery.
The honor of Official Festival Artist is one of the highest he’s received for photography. (A print of his photo will be given to the Dutch Ambassador to commemorate this historic event and the tower’s restoration.)
“With all the hardship right now from the pandemic, it’s wonderful to have something positive like the Bell Festival, and I’m proud to contribute whatever I can to that effort.”
(Note: Interested in purchasing the image? Horowitz is planning to sell the remaining copies of the special limited edition of 50 on his Etsy site, dclensman.etsy.com.)