ROCK HILL, S.C. - Photographer Dustin Shores '09 discovered a unique, fulfilling way to combine his love of photography with community service, and Winthrop University Galleries will celebrate his artistic collaborations with a special exhibition this summer.
"Reflect, Educate, Inspire," an exhibition of Shores' photography mural work with the center-city First Ward neighborhood in Charlotte, N.C., will continue through Aug. 19 in the Lewandowski Student Gallery. The opening reception for the exhibition will take place on Thursday, June 24, at 6:30 p.m. This reception will be held in conjunction with several exhibitions opening in the Center for the Arts in downtown Rock Hill on June 24, including the "1st Youth Photography Competition" (Lewandowski Classroom), the "Catawba Art River Guild Exhibition" (Perimeter Gallery) and the "6th Annual Photography Competition" (Dalton Gallery). Also on June 24, Rock Hill's Gallery Up, 201 E. Main St., will host the artist reception for "30 Small Works" at 6 p.m. All exhibits are part of the Old Town Art Crawl.
Shores' special exhibition highlights three major collaborations between Shores and the First Ward community. "Children of the First Ward Community" is a mixed-media mural created by the photographer and the children of First Ward. For this piece, First Ward children used disposable digital cameras to photograph their neighborhood, later creating drawings over the course of several workshops at their local recreation center. The second piece, "We Are First Ward," consists of 192 collected photographs – images depicting community members who have made a difference in First Ward over the last 25 years – printed on a 4-foot by 8-foot panel. This work will be displayed at the Charlotte Housing Authority.
Images in "First Ward Elementary School Reconstruction" mural originate from an 8-foot by 64-foot mural created in the 1990s by the First Ward Elementary School Art Program. As the mural, composed of collected images printed directly onto the wall, exists on a portion of First Ward School slated for demolition, the work has been photo documented in 112 images to create a complete digital reconstruction. A new mural of the images taken from the original will be installed in the new First Ward Elementary School.
Shores, who majored in Fine Arts with an emphasis on photography at Winthrop, now works as a fine arts photographer, a commercial photographer and a graphic designer. During his time at Winthrop, he also worked on art projects with children from the Blackmon Road area near Rock Hill and incorporated their work into a mural titled "Voices of Homelessness," part of the 2009 21st Annual Undergraduate Juried Exhibition.
For more information about "Reflect, Educate, Inspire," call Karen Derksen at 803/323-2493 or visit the Winthrop University Galleries homepage. Visit the Arts Council of York County website to find out more about the June 24 exhibition openings downtown.