Help us welcome photographers Jesse Andrews of Virginia and Peter Armenia of Durham and celebrate the opening of each of their exhibitions. Enjoy light refreshments with wine selections from Wine Authorities.
Admission is FREE and open to the public.
HEROES AND HOODLUMS: LEARNING TO REMEMBER
Traditional black & white photographs tell the stories of the people, places and rural tobacco culture of Pittsylvania County, Virginia.
SACRED LIGHT – ASIA: RECENT WORK IN THE SACRED LIGHT SERIES
Vivid color photographs explore the visual manifestation of spiritual belief in Japan, Thailand and Cambodia.
With his photographs, Jesse Andrews records the story of a family, of a time, a place, and its people. Like all good storytellers, he includes character development and describes the changes wrought by the passage of time. As Andrews explains, he is “fascinated by people and their stories and the evolution of their cultures that almost imperceptibly causes them to disappear and give way to something else, for better or for worse.” Andrews shows us individual people such as Bill Davis, photographed over the years up to the time of his death, and archetypal People such as the American farmer struggling to hold on to the family farm.
In 2002, Andrews completed a project in collaboration with the Center for Documentary Studies which chronicles, through photographs and oral histories, the last productive year of a tobacco farm that has been in continuous operation by the same family for more than one hundred years. Selections from this project were included in the exhibition Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self at the International Center of Photography in New York, NY. Jesse Andrews’s work is archived at the Duke University Special Collections Library and was recently part of the Beyond Beauty exhibition at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
A man with no particular spiritual leaning, Peter Armenia is curious about belief and what inspires it, in all its variety and intensity. As he describes it, “the expression of belief is usually a process of revealing what is deep inside. It gets to the heart of the matter, exposing raw truths, which are wrapped in visually stunning layers of ritual and art.” It is these layers Armenia captures in such images as Universe in a Puddle. In this picture a child’s confection of a building, a gingerbread house with elaborately carved details, looms behind a scrim of heavily falling snow. The only bright spot in the image is a monk in orange robes, dressed for warmer weather. Many of Armenia’s images present a kind of visual vertigo, a challenge for the viewer to reconcile what the eye sees with what the mind wishes to perceive. An ancient temple appears to be enclosed in a busy urban shopping center, old and new abutted against each other in what seems like two disparate photos, but is really one seamless image. It is worth mentioning that none of his shots are choreographed nor altered with Photoshop. With his photography, Armenia says he endeavors to “respectfully approach the truth with awe and openness.”
Peter Armenia’s photographs have been exhibited locally and internationally at such places as the Center for Documentary Studies, Durham; Lee Hansley Gallery, Raleigh; and Toyama Shimin Plaza, Toyama, Japan. His work has appeared on the covers of numerous compact discs and books; in the pages of magazines such as Time, Business Traveler, Travel Holiday, and Escape Magazine; and within the Marbles Kids Museum (formerly Exploris) in Raleigh.