Climbing, environmentalism and Civil War monuments

Last updated: August 20. 2013 2:29PM - 650 Views
Staff Report

Douglas Butler's book, “North Carolina Civil War Monuments: An Illustrated History.”
Douglas Butler's book, “North Carolina Civil War Monuments: An Illustrated History.”
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Award-winning photographers Douglas Butler and Julian Charles will join at the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center for their first collaborative exhibition debuting on Sept. 13 at 5:30 p.m. in the Welborn Gallery.

This gallery opening will be the first of its kind, incorporating the Willingham Theater for a short presentation from each photographer on their work as well as a live musical performance from Bandit’s Roost, Charles’ musical endeavor. The theater presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a gallery reception with refreshments and a meet and greet with the photographers following at 6:30 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend.

Butler and Charles, both from North Carolina, have much in common. Both are accomplished mountain climbers, international adventure travelers and both share a passion for the environment. While both men seek similar goals through photography, each has selected a complementary aspect of their work for this show.

Charles, a black and white photographer, highlights the physical environment with stunning vistas from as far away as his former New Zealand residence and as close as the North Carolina and Virginia Mountains.

Charles, a native of England, believes that every person has a unique purpose and hopes to foster environmental stewardship through his work. Charles said he hopes to help people overcome the daily distractions that prevent fulfilling dreams, hopefully changing the world for the better.

Butler, a North Carolina native, showcases the planet’s human environment with images of indigenous peoples from West Africa and the Himalaya couple with a study of North Carolina’s Civil War monuments.

He hopes that his images of native peoples, depicted in a sensitive realistic manner, will encourage viewers to consider the dignity of all people—and ponder if “less affluent” and “underdeveloped” cultures might show us ways toward a more sustainable, and perhaps satisfying, lifestyle.

Butler also hopes his monument photography will challenge the viewer to reflect on the meaning of sacrifice and loss as well as a society’s healing after an overwhelming military defeat.

Both Butler and Charles have received numerous awards and have been widely published. Charles’ work has appeared in Our State magazine and is included in numerous personal and corporate collections. Butler’s images have been published nationally and he is the author of two books, A Walk Atop America: Fifty State Summits and a Dream to Reach Them All (Parkway, 2007) and North Carolina Civil War Monuments: An Illustrated History (McFarland, 2013).

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