"Grit and Determination," a solo exhibition of the work of photographer Reid Mason of Belington focusing on Civil War battlefield sites and Civil War re-enactments, will soon be on display in the Maxwell Gallery of the Randolph County Community Arts Center in Elkins.
The exhibit's opening reception will be from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Wednesday. The exhibit will be open Mondays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Aug. 17.
Most of the photos in the exhibit were taken at last year's Battle of Philippi re-enactment. "It is just so exciting to go to a re-enactment with my camera," Mason said. "At that event, I was able to walk back and forth between the two lines and shoot both sides."
The work of photographer Reid Mason focuses on Civil War battlefields and re-enactments. A solo exhibit of his work will open Wednesday at the Randolph County Community Arts Center in Elkins.
Mason used digital technology to enhance the photos in the exhibit. "I go to great lengths to remove everything that isn't historically accurate to the Civil War period. It's a lot of work. I spent eight to 12 hours per image. It takes time to do it so well that people can't tell that you've done it."
Mason's grandfather was an amateur historian and a Civil War buff. "He would school me on history during summer vacations," he said. "I have been really blessed to be able to make use of his knowledge now."
After receiving his first camera - a Brownie - at age 10, Mason developed a passion for photography, and has been working as a professional photographer for several decades. A native of Los Angeles, he moved to West Virginia two years ago.
"I shot film up to the point that digital was good enough that I could not see a difference anymore," he said. "I've been heavily involved in digitally enhancing photography for 15 years now. Now I shoot totally digital."
Mason uses a process called HDR (or high dynamic range) imaging. "I shoot in raw form," he said. "The digital technology allows me to re-expose the image multiple times, so I can get detail in areas that I could never get in a single shot."
His work can be seen online at masonphotographics.com.
Also at the Arts Center, the Great Hall will host "Echoes of the Past: The Civil War 150 Years Later," an exhibit commemorating the first campaign of the Civil War. Exhibiting artists will include Gary Casteel, Mark Churms, Dale Gallon, Mort Kunstler, James Muir, Rick Reeves, Keith Rocco, Bradley Schmehl, John Paul Strain and Don Troiani. The opening reception will be on from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Wednesday. The exhibit will be open Mondays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Aug. 17.
Both exhibits are free and open to the public.
Funding for the exhibit is provided by the Randolph County Community Arts Center as well as the Randolph County Commission, city of Elkins, West Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, Marjorie Wolfe, June Myles, John and Joyce Allen, John C. Allen Jr., Charles Lilly/Red Bone Mining Co., Don and Doreen Hall, Dr. and Mrs. Victor Thacker and Mr. and Mrs. Robert D. Wamsley.
The RCCAC, a nonprofit organization promoting and supporting the arts in Randolph County and the surrounding areas, is located at the corner of Randolph Avenue and Park Street in Elkins. The RCCAC is supported by private donations as well as the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.
Call the RCCAC office at 304-637-2355 for information on its arts education classes, exhibits, concert series, and children's concert series.
RCCAC is committed to providing accessibility to individuals with disabilities. If you are in need of an accommodation, call the office in advance.
For more information, visit www.randolpharts.org.