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Photogs / Photo Exhibits This is the place to discuss a particular Photographer (work, style, life, whatever), as well as to post Gallery and Museum Photo Exhibitions and your own impressions of them. As we march on in this new digital world, it is often too easy to forget about the visual importance of the photographic print, as well as their financial importance to the photographer. It is also interesting to remember that some guy named Gene Smith shot with lenses that many lens test reading "never had a picture published in their life" amateurs would turn up their their noses at, as being "unacceptable."

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XRAY (Don D) major one-man exhibit Knoxville,TN East Tennessee State Museum
Old 03-01-2010   #1
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Smile XRAY (Don D) major one-man exhibit Knoxville,TN East Tennessee State Museum

Xray is not the kind to announce, so as a friend, I will.
A major 94 piece exhibit of his work titled " Vanishing Appalachia" begins today.
These images are an amazing look at the portraits and culture of a proud rural region in the eastern US mountain range.
I have seen a few and plan to make the 350 mile drive to see these amazing images and visit Don.
"It's looking good for a grant from the TN Arts Comission for a coffee table book and the project I had slated to start as soon as this show was behind me is now on track to start this week. The theme is small time dirt rack racing and now has expanded to include moonshine and racing. The TN department of tourism viewed tha show last week and is talking about a grant to do the entire show and fund the photography plus the historic society has spoken for the show to start at their museum in a couple of years" , the master tells me.
If you live anywhere nearby, do yourself a favor and take the drive.
If you don't, well, this is RFF; you know how to respond.
Please see the link below:

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/fe...chia-before-f/
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Old 03-01-2010   #2
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darn, I would love to see that show!

Sign, its too far away though....either way, congrats Don!
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Old 03-01-2010   #3
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The exhibit runs through late June, before going on the road.
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Old 03-01-2010   #4
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Thanks Michael. Yesterdays opening was a private opening for members of the museum and a few guests. The museum folks estimated around three hundred guests viewed the show in two hours. The show represents forty years of work centering in a small region of eastern Tennessee with only a few exceptions which were photographed within a short drive of the Tennessee state line.

On the technical side about half of the 94 images were shot with Leicas and Leica glass and the others were shot with a variety of cameras ranging from Nikon, Linhof, Sinar, Deardorff, Rollei, Hasselblad, Pentax and Fuji cameras. Scheider, Goerz, Fuji, Nikkor, Takumar, Zeiss and Kodak optics were used as well. Formats ranged from 35mm to 8x10 in size. All prints were printed direct from film original negs and all are wet pints peinted in the darkroom on silver gelatin paper and given a slight selenium tone for archival purposes and additional depth.

Hope you can come and see it or it travels to your area.

Here are a few images my wife made during and before the show.

Thanks,

Don

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Old 03-01-2010   #5
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One more image.
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Old 03-01-2010   #6
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Looks like a great show...
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Old 03-01-2010   #7
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congratulations don!!

this is a major accomplishment, you should be pleased and proud.

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Old 03-01-2010   #8
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Will there be a public opening, or any chance of a gallery talk?
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Old 03-01-2010   #9
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whoa! my brother lives near johnson city. i'll tip him off ...
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Old 03-01-2010   #10
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Congratulations! I hope the book will be published - I'm too far to attend the exhibition.
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Old 03-01-2010   #11
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Thanks!

There will be a gallery talk and brown bag lunch the 10th of this month. If you get to Knox drop me a PM and I'll try to meet up with you for a personal tour.
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Old 03-01-2010   #12
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Beautiful work and congratulations.
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Old 03-01-2010   #13
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Thanks for the heads up! Knoxville's only about a 2:15 hr drive, so I'll try to get down there soon.
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Old 03-01-2010   #14
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It's about 51/2 hours for us, but we're going over to see Don and enjoy the work.
This is a collection of history which almost does not exist elsewhere.
To be nearby and not get to see it would truly be a shame.
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Old 03-01-2010   #15
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Don, congrats of course! I've looked at your work online several times and it's outstanding. That there's interest from the State and Historic groups is entirely understandable. The work is exemplary. Here's to the book and the tour.

Best regards, Jan

PS, sight unseen I'm up for the book when it's published. Let me know.
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Old 03-02-2010   #16
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Congrats. Where will the show be traveling to?
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Old 03-02-2010   #17
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Congrats, Don! I've followed your work over the years. You deserve the recognition!
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Old 03-02-2010   #18
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I'd be very interested in buying a book based on the exhibit. I grew up in Kingsport TN and I try to visit the area as often as possible. I would love to eventually move back to the mountains, the people in that area would gladly give the shirt off their backs if someone needs it. I recommend a book called "Mountain Hands" for anyone interested in the people of Appalachia. The attitude of the people in the area is one of respect for one another, an attitude I've haven't always found in my travels. Popular media has painted a very skewed image of the region and the people there.
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Old 03-02-2010   #19
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I don't know the schedule and locations for the the traveling show. That part is still being booked with the museums. I'm not really certain how it all works. I know I have had a couple of calls from curators requesting the show and lectures and the curator of the museum here is working with others on schedules. Part of it depends on how long each museum wants the show and what part or all of the images for their particular show. The full version of the show contains 94 images of which roughly 85 are 11x14 plus mats and frames so it takes up quite a large gallery. Not every museum can handle shows of this size so the curator had decided to make it available in three sizes depending or what fits the particular locations space. There's usually a lag between the close of the show and when it hits other museums. This show has been in the planning for four years. Normally most museums have a period of two or three years before an open slot comes for a new exhibit. A few will work closer in schedule and will have open slots due to shows canceling.

Until this exhibit I had never worked on anything of this scope and had no idea of how much goes into the planning, production, grant procurement, PR, catalog, large banners for the museum, framing and other details. The grant alone for the framing was huge and then the catalog became forty pages with a CD in each of digital sound tracks from interviews from subjects in the show. Also scholars in the field of each topic of the show, faith, KKK, moonshine etc., wrote extensive articles for the catalog. I have been trying to find out what financial commitment went into just the catalog and the best I can figure was around $30-40K. In the end there were two grants from two foundations that probably totaled between $50-60K.

The book is another project in itself that will take about a year and a half. Funding, design. production and locating the right printer are major. This is another big financial commitment which we thin we have or will have. I'm guessing here but figure this will be another $40-50K. Until the economy turned I was thinking of funding part of this myself and talked to a designer friend that had done several fine photo books and at the time he did the last book and cut production corners and had it printed in China the cost ran all most $40K.

My gallery shows have been big undertakings but didn't prepare me for anything of this magnitude but I'm a fast learner and have learned to delegate to people who know what they are doing. This saves one from going more insane as well as time and money.

Thanks for all the great comments!

Don
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Old 03-02-2010   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob T View Post
I'd be very interested in buying a book based on the exhibit. I grew up in Kingsport TN and I try to visit the area as often as possible. I would love to eventually move back to the mountains, the people in that area would gladly give the shirt off their backs if someone needs it. I recommend a book called "Mountain Hands" for anyone interested in the people of Appalachia. The attitude of the people in the area is one of respect for one another, an attitude I've haven't always found in my travels. Popular media has painted a very skewed image of the region and the people there.
Bob you're spot on. I've met some of the nicest people you could imagine that have become great friends. The major requirement when working with them is show the respect they deserve. There are bad people everywhere and Appalachia is no different than NY City or LA but overall they are exceptional people. The only difference in mountain folk and city folk are the opportunities they've had for education and jobs. When you're born in a remote holler in the mountains and you didn't have electricity until you were twelve and then didn't have inside plumbing till you were a young adult you simply don't know what world is just fifty miles away. The isolation has been such that they might as well be living on another planet. Things are changing now and most have phones, electricity, inside plumbing and TV so they are exposed to the outside world. Many of the kids are getting a good education and leaving the community to go to college. This is the thrust of the show, the culture they left behind and how it's fading away quickly. Once gone it's gone for ever.
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Old 03-02-2010   #21
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Don-
Congratulations!!!
Your art has always been an inspiration to me and I am so happy that this exhibit is happening… not only is your photography visually stunning, but this is such an important documentation of a cultural and area that is changing and vanishing (a mixed bag of emotions on that). These photos, I am sure, will stand the test of time and be cherished & educational for generations to come.
Sigh… I am now very home sick for Knoxville… I hope that I may get back there someday soon and get to see these photos in person (and take in a Vols game ).
If the book comes out and I hope it does, I would buy one up in an instant.

Congratulations & Cheers!!! - Jason
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Old 03-02-2010   #22
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Don, I've noticed the changes in the area myself. I joined the navy and moved away roughly 25 years ago and when I visit the area these days I've noticed the younger people of the area are being influenced by what is being shown on TV and in popular culture and I must say there has been a change. The influence of what's popular in todays society isn't necessarilly good for society. There's too much about confrontation and taking advantage of people and circumstances. Your photos bring back memories of people and places I'm familiar with. Thanks!
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Old 03-02-2010   #23
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Bob,
In a way it's sad to see the culture change but I don't know what will happen to these people if they don't change. It seems there's becoming less of a place for them as the rest of the world moves on. Developers have moved in taken advantage of then just to get their land. Many are like children and know the ways of the mountains but not the ways of the slick city folks.

Jason,

Good to hear from you. I hope you're making great images and would love to show my personal folio of images even if the show is down.

If you get back to town PM and we'll go to lunch again.

Don
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Old 03-02-2010   #24
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I agree totally with Bob.
But, I must admit to being infinitely proud of Don.
He is the type of guy who has earned what he has received. God knows many in the world now have no notion of such a concept. I'm proud of what Don has achieved by vision, talent and hard work.
God grant there be more in the pipeline who wish to make themselves important by work. We need to know that they are out there.
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Old 03-03-2010   #25
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I'm really pleased for you Don! Congratulations on the recognition you are evidently receiving for your contribution to photography, the recording of history and local culture. Its recognition well deserved and I hope you continue to make contributions to this forum despite your temporary absence a while back, triggered by abrasive gear heads!

I'm a real fan of your photography and would also be interested in your book when it becomes available. Please do not be modest and let us all know the details when the time comes.
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Old 03-05-2010   #26
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That's an incredible body of work. I'd love to come to the show but it's way too far. Hopefully it will come to me at some point.
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Old 03-05-2010   #27
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Don,

I admire your work and I am glad to hear of your success! Like Jan, I would be interested in a copy of your book.

Thomas
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Old 03-05-2010   #28
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congrats! seems to be a great show, and most certainly a great accomplishment. how close is this to the smoky mountains / gatlinburg? we'll be hiking in may and i'd love to swing by and check this show out!!
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Old 03-05-2010   #29
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Show

About 50 miles from Gatlinburg.
You gotta get there, enochroot...

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congrats! seems to be a great show, and most certainly a great accomplishment. how close is this to the smoky mountains / gatlinburg? we'll be hiking in may and i'd love to swing by and check this show out!!
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Old 03-05-2010   #30
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excellent! at 50 miles, i wouldn't miss it! now i just have to wait until may

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About 50 miles from Gatlinburg.
You gotta get there, enochroot...
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Old 03-07-2010   #31
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I have suggested that Eastman House look into securing this exhibit.

Wonderful job, Don; 40 years of work is satisfying in itself, but when it gets a wider audience, that is wonderful.
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Old 03-10-2010   #32
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I am thinking this exhibit is going to be in demand for years....
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Old 03-10-2010   #33
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i have told my brother about it (he lives nearby in elizabethton). i hope to drive up to my brother's home in late spring. plan on getting to the exihibit then ...
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Old 03-10-2010   #34
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show is at etsu in johnson city, right?
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Old 03-11-2010   #35
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No it's at the Museum of East Tennessee History / East Tennessee Historical Society in Knoxville. Elizabethton is only about an hour and a half north. I will have more detail on where it will be traveling in a couple of months. I did a talk to about two hundred and fifty museum visitors yesterday during lunch and discussed the traveling part with the curator. He said they are fabricating crates for shipping and starting to get requests. In speaking with him I had no idea of what is involved in getting a show on the road. Due to the large size of the show I think the museum is going to offer it in different formats depending on the space availabel at the museum. Just guessing I would say the show currently is in a space !800-2000 sq ft. and really could have been in a larger space,
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Old 03-11-2010   #36
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ah, thank you. i could make it on the way to my brother's home. thanks.
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Old 03-14-2010   #37
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Luckily I live in Knoxville, about 15 minutes away from the show. I went today and was amazed. I have admired Don's photos through his RFF gallery for years but seeing them in print along with many more that I had never seen was awesome. I especially loved hearing Popcorn Sutton's voice while looking at the many pictures of him.
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Old 04-12-2010   #38
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Congratulations. I've always enjoyed your photos (and your insights on RFF). It's a shame I live so far away. I'd really love to see your show.
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