For Immediate Release
The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa
Contact: Kevin Ledgewood
DINAH WASHINGTON CULTURAL ARTS CENTER TO HOST “THE BERLIN WALL SERIES” EXHIBIT
(Tuscaloosa, Ala.) The photography of Jim Harrison, III will be featured in The Arts Council Gallery at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center Aug. 7-28, 2015. “The Berlin Wall Series” will feature Harrison’s photographs of the powerful imagery and script that accumulated on the iconic structure during its checkered history. A reception honoring the artist will take place on Friday, August 7 from 5-8 p.m.
Jim Harrison, III, a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala., is owner and director of Harrison Galleries-Fine Art & Photography. Actively involved in the West Alabama arts community for many years, he also devotes time and energy at the state level, having served as Chairman of the Alabama State Council on the Arts in 2012-2013.
Here in Berlin, as I moved along the wall stopping frequently to frame up a shot, a question developed in my mind. “At what point does graffiti become art?” One tends to think of it as vandalism, although here at the remains of what was the most tangible symbol of Cold War oppression, it represented individual and even communal acts of defiance. Here on grey concrete slabs turned up on end and laid side by side like so many dominos, were the thoughts and reflections of the world as it passed by on the ‘free side’. Imagery and script, some made with great care and forethought and others as impulsive momentary inspirations, alongside musings in a dozen languages, greetings and salutations, expressions of love, anger, civil disobedience, even poetry and the all too common visual equivalent of “Kilroy was here”, garnish the cold stone canvases.
My eye was drawn to the abstract juxtaposition of color, texture and message laid down by souls unknown over decades, now in an evolving state of beautiful decay. Like the documentary images of rural Alabama, particularly Hale County taken over many years by William Christenbury, it was my intention to return to Berlin to record the ‘vanishing’ as the poetic imagery goes the way of all things, leaving behind once again the cold, grey reminder of an injustice now almost forgotten.
My technique and equipment were simple, a Nikon D-70 35mm camera with an 18-105mm auto Nikon zoom lens set on automatic, or what I refer to as ‘tourist mode’. Images were loaded into Iphoto, and color saturation, if applied, was enhanced by no more than one degree. Otherwise, the images were not cropped or edited but represent what I saw through the viewfinder in the spring of 2006.
Gallery hours are 9 a.m. – noon and 1 – 4 p.m. on weekdays and noon – 8 p.m. on First Fridays.
The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is located at 620 Greensboro Avenue in Downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information about the CAC, The Arts Council or Bama Theatre, patrons should LIKE the Facebook page “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” and follow tuscarts on Twitter. Call 205-758-5195 or visit cac.tuscarts.org for further information.