The Stokes County Arts Council is proud to feature Kitty Ray Brown and Jesse H. Moore VII at the Hanging Rock Gallery, Hanging Rock Visitor Center, 1790 Hanging Rock Park Road in Danbury, N.C., during the months of May and June.
ing reception will be held in their honor on Sunday, May 22, from 2 to 4 p.m. The public is invited to enjoy refreshments, talk with the artists and view an exhibit of beautiful photography.
The exhibit will be on display May through June at the Hanging Rock Gallery. The visitor center hours are 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. daily.
“For many years, I’ve kept a camera nearby at all times capturing thousands of pictures of family, children and grandchildren,” Brown said. “They’ve all heard me say, ‘just one more.’”
Brown said her career as a jeweler and watchmaker influenced her interest in tiny details most people never notice. “I like to surprise the viewer,” she said. “Pictures that appear at first glance to be black-and-white, but actually are in color.”
Some of Brown’s photos have been made into huge tapestries, sold to hotels and resorts around the world. She is currently studying impressionist landscape painting, and her photographs guide her work on canvas, she said.
“My formula for making better pictures is fairly simple,” Brown said. “Take pictures every day. And, keep in mind the advice of the great Robert Capa: ‘If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.’”
Moore said his first camera was an Ansco box, a Christmas present when he was 13 years old. One year and two days later—using a $50 Praktica FX—he published his first front-page photograph in a daily newspaper. By the time he turned 16, he had published a national magazine article and a few pictures in national publications.
He said he decided early on to become a writing journalist, not a news photographer. His newspaper editor helped him land a scholarship to attend the College of William and Mary.
“Good start, bad outcome,” Moore said. “I came down with cancer. The doctors gave me five years to live. I’m still here. They’re not.”
In his teens, Moore said, he paid for equipment and supplies by selling pin-up photos to publishers of what were then called “48 pagers.”
“It was a great way for a shy country boy to meet pretty girls,” he said. “As a young journalist, carrying a camera gave me an edge. After all, it’s cheaper for a newspaper to send one person to cover a story, rather than a writer-photographer team.”
In 1977, while Moore was hospitalized, a flood destroyed almost every negative and print he owned—about 40,000 photographs. “I didn’t touch a camera again for 10 years,” he said.
Moore said he has written political speeches, tourist and product brochures, radio and TV commercials, and “a couple dozen books” on technical, medical, legal and computer-related topics.
In 1997, he was senior writer and historical accuracy editor with the “alcohol-pickled five-person team” that produced “50 Years of Speed,” the history of NASCAR.
“If you ever heard an announcer use the phrase, ‘The Thunder Under Your Feet,’ I wrote it first,” Moore said.
His latest book is called “Great Pictures Made Simple,” which he said “is aimed at ordinary folks with inexpensive cameras and cell phones who don’t want to become professionals; they just want to take better pictures of their dogs, cats and family.”
Today Moore is retired, living on a Stokes County farm he bought in 1979.
“Since I’ve only been here 36 years, people still say, ‘you ain’t from around here, are you?’ When I can churn up enough energy to get off the couch, I make pictures of subjects I like: mostly landscapes, flowers and wildlife,” he said.
For additional information, contact the Stokes County Arts Council at 336-593-8159 or visit www.stokesarts.org.