JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

Rufus Lovett's Works on Display at Hammond Hall Gallery

The JSU Art Department will exhibit photographs in a show titled "Weeping Mary" by O. Rufus Lovett in Hammond Hall Gallery, October 2 - 26.

Lovett is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Opal R. Lovett of Jacksonville. He grew up in Jacksonville and went to Jacksonville High School. He was greatly influenced by his parents. His father was the campus photographer at JSU for 38 years and his mother was an English Professsor at JSU for many years and now writes a column for the Jacksonville News.

Lovett learned the technical expertise of taking professional quality photographs from his father. He continued his study of photography at Sam Houston State University where he received his B.A. and then at East Texas State University where he received his M.A. Lovett has also studied with the renowned photographer Ansel Adams for two summers at the Ansel Adams Workshop in Yosemite, California.

Lovett has been living in Longview, Texas for the past 24 years where he teaches photography at Kilgore College and is a fine art and editorial photographer. One of the most definitive works of his career is his ongoing project "Weeping Mary, Texas". The exhibit at JSU is a collection of photographs from this photo essay that interprets a small rural African-American community steeped in history and folklore, hidden in a river bottom flat near the Neches River. Legend has it that an African-American lady landowner named Mary lost her land to a white man. Her loss was so great that she was often found weeping and became known as "Weeping Mary". The locals later named their church after her and later the community was named from the church. This exhibit deals with this community and its relationship of the people to their environment.

Lovett is a nationally accomplished and respected photographer as evidenced by his numerous exhibitions and awards. His images have been included in major exhibitions at many museums including the Birmingham Museum of Art and the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, as well as, in important publications which include American Photo, Photo Review, Money, and Gourmet magazines. His work has also been selected for the prestigious "Annual Governor's Exhibition" in Texas for the past nine years since its bedimming. Recently, his work received recognition in The 2000 Alfred Eisenstaedt Awards issue of LIFE magazine, The Best Magazine Photographs Of The Year, April, 2000.


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