Last Sunday and Monday, the walls of the Theater Gallery at the Carrboro ArtsCenter were filled with photographs from students in photography workshops, many of them retired and experimenting with new creative outlets.
The FRANK and ArtsCenter Partnership Student Exhibition came together from a series of classes each artist took through the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and the N.C. Botanical Garden. Several of the photographs were paired with poems from local poet laureates.
Artist and teacher Barbara Tyroler asked students from previous classes at the center to display their work in the exhibit.
Tyroler met Caroline Haller, the ArtsCenter gallery coordinator, during a 2nd Friday ArtWalk at FRANK Gallery, a monthly event that celebrated local art before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, they devised the idea for the photography gallery, as well as its inclusion of local poetry.
Tyroler and Haller worked with Liza Wolff-Francis, Carrboro Poet Laureate, to develop the interdisciplinary exhibition. The poems, provided by past laureates, were directly inspired by the photography in the exhibition.
“That’s what I've tried to do with these galleries, is be able to connect to different things going on with communities at different points of time,” Haller said.
Contributing photographers range from people with arts experience, like Anne Winslow, a retired creative director, to retirees from STEM fields like Blythe Devlin.
Despite their different backgrounds, Tyroler fostered all of them as students, encouraging them to push the boundaries of their comfort zones.
Devlin said that when she went to shoot photos one morning, Tyroler recommended shooting 30 minutes earlier. She took the advice, and she said it made all the difference in the photo because of the light at that time of day.