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Photography project exhibition opens

By Staff | Oct 2, 2009

The South Jefferson Public Library at 49 Church Street, Summit Point, is pleased to announce Series I of The Jefferson County Photography Project Exhibit, opening October 4 and running through the end of November. The exhibit features the photographs of Benita Keller, the project and workshop instructor, and those of members of the project team: Joanna Pecha, Rip Smith, Frank Robbins, Cindy Mason, Steve Alenskis, and Jessica Hartman. This exhibit is the twenty-first in the Art in the Library series highlighting the talents of local artists. Unless the meeting room is in use, the exhibit can be viewed during library hours: Monday through Thursday 10-7, Saturdays 10-5, and Sundays 1-5. The library is closed Fridays.

This past summer, Benita Keller, supported by the Arts and Humanities Alliance of Jefferson County, offered a unique opportunity for aspiring, dedicated photographers to work in traditional black and white film and to experience photography as a fine art form with Jefferson County as their subject matter. Participants worked together as a team to photograph events, places, people, towns and landscapes in Jefferson County. The first photographs (Series I) from the workshop will be shown at the South Jefferson Library. Two other exhibitions, Series II and III, with new photographs at each are planned later in 2009 in Charles Town (location to be announced) and in Shepherdstown at The Bridge Gallery.

Keller grew up on her family farm in Kearneysville, graduated from Shepherdstown High School and Shepherd College, and earned her Master of Fine Arts in photography from the University of Maryland. She currently is teaching photography at The Montgomery College School of Art and Design, Hagerstown Community College, and the Art Institute of Washington, D.C.

Keller has photographed in Africa, Vietnam, Russia, Haiti and Cuba. She took photojournalist students from Shepherd University twice to work in Cuba. She has received a West Virginia Division of Culture and History Artist Fellowship and has been listed through the Ernst Haas Awards as one of the top 100 photographers in United States. In 2004, she was the West Virginia photographer for the national book project, 24/7. She is in the archives of the National Museum of Women in Arts, D.C. and her photographs have been exhibited in New York, California, Washington, D.C. and locally. She is represented locally by the Bridge Gallery, Shepherdstown, WV.

Please visit with Ms. Keller and the project team members at an opening reception Sunday, Oct. 4, between 1 and 3 pm at the library in Summit Point, West Virginia. Visit our web site at http://sojeffersonlibrary.com/ or e-mail cmasonwhf@aol.com for more information.