Kwilecki exhibit opens Feb. 13

Published 12:40am Saturday, February 8, 2014

Decatur County residents are in for a special treat when the three-week exhibit of photos taken by the late Paul Kwilecki opens with a 6:30 p.m. public reception at the Firehouse Gallery on Feb. 13. The reception will give people not only a chance to enjoy the photography and light refreshments, but an opportunity to talk with some of the Kwilecki family members.
The exhibit will continue to be featured on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in the Firehouse Gallery through March 2.
Kwilecki has long been known for his black and white photography that so vividly portrays the daily lives and history of Decatur County folks.
During his lifetime he made it a point to take photos of the ordinary people who inhabited this part of Southwest Georgia and the intimacy of his camera evokes many emotions, as well as memories.
In Paul’s lifetime he published two photographic histories that were published by the University of North Carolina Press in association with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. The first was “Understandings: Photographs of Decatur County Georgia.”
His last work, completed just before his death in 2009, titled “One Place,” chronicles four decades of photos of Decatur County happenings. It was edited by Tom Rankin who wrote a detailed introduction that gives great insight into the person of Paul Kwilecki that few ever saw. He was not only a photographer, but a poet and writer who saw the world a bit differently. He saw the beauty and intensity in the ordinary.
Kwilecki’s latest book is heralded by Roger Hodge, editor-in-chief of the Oxford American magazine, who calls it “A masterpiece of documentary art.” Other praise comes from Julian Cox, founding curator of photography and chief curator, Fine Arts Museums, San Francisco, who claims that, “Once you have seen these photographs, you can’t forget the places or the people.”
Decatur County people will recognize themselves, their neighbors and their past in many of the photos
The book is currently on sale at Bainbridge Pharmacy for $45. It will then be available at the Firehouse Gallery during the dates of the exhibit.
Editor Rankin is expected to be in Bainbridge on Feb. 28 and March 1 to act as curator of the history of the photos. Plans are also pending for him to appear at Bainbridge State College and the Gilbert H. Gragg Library.

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