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Chuck Hemard: The Pines
May 17 - September 16
THE PINES – SOUTHERN FORESTS
The Edward A. Whitney Gallery is open Monday-Friday from 10a-7p and Sundays from 12-4p. Free and open to the public.
Listen to the artist discuss his work here.
Photographs in Pine explore relict old-growth longleaf pinelands across the coastal plain of the Southeast United States and fire’s role in the pine forests of the Deep South. This was one of America’s most significant landscapes and ecosystems, with deep ties to the cultural, economic and environmental histories of this region and beyond. These pinelands are a “forest” that is really an extraordinarily biodiverse understory, evolving as a fire-dependent savannah or grassland, with a canopy dominated by Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris) as a keystone species. Longleaf was the dominate element in the landscape mosaic that covered the coastal plain from Virginia to east Texas, some 90 million acres at the time of European settlement and were all but wiped away by human logging on an industrial scale at towards the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries. When properly maintained (by humans) with frequent, non-fatal fire, the longleaf ecosystem rivals the tropical rainforests in terms of biodiversity, yet today the decline of this ecosystem has been listed as the third most endangered in the United States.
Chuck Hemard’s photographs have been exhibited nationally and throughout the Southeast including the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia in Atlanta, Opal Gallery in Atlanta, the The Light Factory in Charlotte, NC as well as a commissioned project with the Columbus Museum in Columbus, Georgia. His work is in public collections throughout the region including the Ogden Museum in New Orleans, the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, GA and the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel, MS. In 2014 Hemard was awarded an Artist Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and he is currently working on his first monograph to be published by Daylight Books in Fall 2017. Hemard earned his MFA, with distinction, from the University of Georgia in Athens, GA, a BA from University of Southern Mississippi, studied abroad in France and West Africa. He has held academic appointments at Columbus State University in Columbus GA and, since 2008, at Auburn University’s Department of Art and Art History where he developed a photography concentration in the BFA in Studio Art program. Hemard has also taught photography in Cortona, Italy through the University of Georgia. www.chuckhemard.com.