Saturday, January 16, 2010

John Scarlata Show at East Carolina University

Distinguished Southern photographer John Scarlata has a show drawn from the body of his life's work, entitled Living in the Light: A Retrospective, now up at the Wellington B. Gray Gallery at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, through  February 20th, 2010.

A native of Long Island, Scarlata studied photography at the Brooks Institute of Photography and theCalifornia Institute of the Arts, receiving his MFA from the latter in 1976. Shortly thereafter, he moved to North Carolina, first teaching at UNC-Charlotte and the Penland School of Crafts. From 1979 until 1999 Scarlata taught at Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Virginia. Since 1999 he has been the chair of the photography program at Appalachian State University.

Scarlata's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including recent shows in Cuba and China. He uses primarily large format cameras and printing in a variety of photographic media from 19th century antiquarian processes to digital/inkjet output to create a significant and exquisite body of work.

Influenced early in his career by modernist  photographers such as Edward Weston and Minor White, he has since explored the alternative methods of viewing the landscape suggested by the New Topographics photographers of the nineteen seventies, including Lewis Baltz, Robert Adams, and Mark Klett.

Scarlata's images  invoke and evoke nature and man's interventions in the environment exploring complex interrelationships and subtle beauty.  My friend Diana Bloomfield describes the show as "filled with really beautiful, awe-inspiring work," definitely worth the trip to Greenville.

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