It’s an honor to have my photograph included as one of the 75 black and white portraits featured in A Portrait of Floyd, a new Jacksonville Center exhibit featuring photographs from a random photo shoot on the streets of Floyd, taken by Norfolk photographer Glen McClure last April.
At the Meet the Artist Reception last night, two people asked for my autograph for their exhibit catalog, in which my portrait appeared, but only one asked about the curious reference in my bio caption that said I came to Floyd via Boston and Texas with my “Texas horse.”
When Glen was taking my photo for the spontaneous sidewalk photo shoot in April, his assistant asked what brought me to Floyd 27 years ago. I said something about alternative education choices for my children, community, the beautiful countryside and privacy, all of which made their way into my bio. I may have said something about a u-haul and a first husband, but something must have gotten lost in translation because I’m certain I said nothing about a horse and haven’t been on one since I was a teenager and got thrown. In the end, the image of me riding into Floyd on my horse gave everyone involved a good laugh.
With the wrought iron gate in the background of my portrait, reminding me of a bookcase full of books, I think I look like a librarian or a teacher, one who has control over her class, I told Joe. The afternoon of the photo shoot I had just returned from visiting my friend Alwyn in Blacksburg (who also took my picture that day) and was feeling upbeat and confident when I stopped to take pictures of Glen taking pictures during the Friday Night Jamboree. Someone (I don’t remember who) suggested I also pose. “Don’t smile. Just look straight into the camera,” Glen had instructed.
I’d say I know well over half of the people included in the powerful exhibit, and, this being a small town, I recognize almost all of them. I found the portrait details as interesting as the rich variety of faces, which capture a unique essence of each person while also revealing the commonality of the human spirit beyond our outer appearances.
Clues to life in Floyd revealed by the subjects’ accessories include a ‘Free Peltier’ and ‘Question Authority’ button, a timber frame cap, and a t-shirt that says ‘know where your food comes from,’ along with one sporting a statement about ‘God.’ You have to look harder to see my Floyd clue. I’m wearing a wax batik silk scarf by Floyd artist Alice Walker. Some are holding musical instruments. Tattoos are popular.
The show runs through November 24. I highly recommend it.