From Tidemill to Hayes
During the Cuban Missile Crisis of October, 1962, the world embraced Cold War fatalism and considered the possibility of nuclear annihilation like never before and never since. Nine months later in Riverside Hospital (Newport News, Virginia), I was born. We lived in Gloucester, on Route 17 near Tidemill Lane for a while, then moved uptown to Hayes. Soon therafter our road was paved, NASA put a man on the Moon, and the future began. I went to Abingdon Elementary School where I almost tried to learn the trombone. My real specialty was knowing every single bike trail between Wicomico and Stokes Drive, and all the kids who traversed them. We had fun.
A tornado took away the school I knew as Gloucester Intermediate. Others knew it as the High School, and most recently it was Page Middle School. I tried to play football there — not much came of that — and I made a gun rack in Shop. It was Mrs Sterling’s art classes that really caught my attention. Her end of C-Hall, as I knew it back in the ’70s, caught the brunt of the 16 April 2011 tornado. It broke my heart to see the photographs and news footage.
GHS, CNU & VCU
My first year at Gloucester High School I took an after-school class in photography with Mr Brian Bergh, my most influential teacher (art was always my my thing). Through high school I took photographs for the Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal, the Duke’s Dispatch (the GHS student newspaper) and the yearbook. I majored in painting and philosophy when I started at Christopher Newport College, and I kept taking photos for my hometown newspaper. I took a semester off and worked as a Party Chief for The Sirine Group, local engineers and land surveyors. That semester off lasted nine years. CNU had grown quite a bit when I returned and graduated (Class of ’95). Philosophy ended up as my minor, and my Fine Arts focus on painting and photography transitioned to an Art History concentration for graduate school at Virginia Commonwealth University. My cv has a bit about graduate school and after.
I started taking photographs for newspapers, as a stringer for the Gazette-Journal. At CNU I was the photo editor of the student newspaper, The Captain’s Log. My newspaper work culminated with an internship at the Daily Press. Although my art was primarily oil on canvas painting, I’d experimented with fine art photography since the ’70s. My 1995 Senior Exhibition at CNU’s Falk Gallery included studio photographs and oil paintings. I had the pleasure of living next to the darkroom at VCU, so I was able to transition to more fine art and art-historical research photography in Richmond. I provided actors with head shots occasionally, and production shots for directing grad students. I was also happy to help with photography and poster/program design work for local theatre companies.
My photography experience paid off when my research turned to rock art in the American Southwest and Brazil…