Asbury Artist Series Welcomes Photographer Byron Wolfe – Asbury University
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November 9, 2018

This month, Asbury University hosted acclaimed photographer Byron Wolfe as part of its ongoing Artist Series. The Artist Series welcomes acclaimed artists to campus each year to participate in presentations, showcases, talks and lectures. All events are open to the public and student body, and program organizers hope that the visiting artists provide enrichment and expose students to new art in interesting ways.

Wolfe, whose current show is on display in the Johnson Art Gallery, gave a lecture to an audience of faculty, students and community members in Jameson Recital Hall on Tuesday evening. His lecture, entitled “Stories in the Landscape: Creative Lessons Learned from Rocks, Trees and Clouds,” chronicled his work as a photographer and the motivation behind his photos.

The University also purchased a piece from Wolfe entitled “Rock Formations on the Road to Lee’s Ferry, AZ.” Art & Design Department Chair and Professor of Photography Keith Barker said that the piece, which was created by Wolfe and fellow artist Mark Klett, is a unique and wonderful addition to Asbury’s collection. It is notable that the piece features two insets of images taken in 1872 by photographer William Bell.

“His arrangement of images taken over 130 years apart, most obviously raises all kinds of questions about the passage of time, but it also touches interestingly on changes in technology, perceptions of the landscape and how motives for depicting the landscape might have changed in the period of time shown, among other contrasts,” Barker said. “We are so fortunate to now own such an impressive work.”

Throughout his Tuesday evening presentation, he provided four major points for the Asbury community to take into consideration when creating works of art.

“Interesting ideas can come from basic lines of inquiry; discoveries will always happen if you are paying attention; time is a necessary ingredient to insight; and places are layered with stories as if they are photographs,” Wolfe said.

To tie in these points, Wolfe, who is currently the photography program chair at Temple University, gave examples from his own career. He spoke about his work in creating “Third Views,” a collection of current and historic photographs taken from the same locations to show the differences in the landscape through the passage of time. Wolfe found many smaller, meaningful stories through his efforts in recreating the images, which he felt applied to the discoveries made when you pay attention.

Looking back on where he began, Wolfe shared with Asbury students that his original drive came from one of his high school teachers.

“[He would] take me around in his truck to chase clouds,” Wolfe said. “It was that poetic sensitivity to photograph clouds that inspired me.”

His showcase of landscape photography, also titled “Stories in the Landscape,” is on display in the Johnson Art Gallery until Nov. 30.

This is just one of many annual arts events hosted on Asbury’s campus that allow students to learn from and be inspired by working artists from a variety of disciplines.

Later in the year, Asbury will host a concert by vocalist and actor Whit Whitaker, put on in collaboration with Black Student Alliance in February, as well as a performance from cellist Ben Sollee in March.

In addition to Artist Series events, students can anticipate a variety of other musical opportunities. Learn more about upcoming concerts