Fans of photos have lots to see in Asheville

From staff reports

Those who appreciate photography have plenty to see in galleries in Asheville this month.

The Asheville Art Museum is showing "Keep All You Wish: The Photographs of Hugh Mangum" through July 12 (with a lecture on Mangum's life at 5:30 p.m. May 8.

At Blue Spiral 1 Gallery just down Biltmore Avenue, the Emerging Southeastern Photographers exhibition will run through June 26. Castelle Photography, located behind Blue Spiral at 2C Wilson Alley, is showing the work of Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman, artists who create cyanotype impressions over digital prints.

The Hugh Mangum work at Asheville Art Museum is especially enthralling. Working as an itinerant photographer between 1890 and 1922, Mangum (1877–1922) traveled to various small towns in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, taking images of men, women and children using his Penny Picture camera and 5x8 field camera. Traveling by railroad, he would set up temporary studios in tents or empty store spaces in towns such as Marion near Black Mountain, spending anywhere from several days to several months in one area.

The affordability of his prints - advertised as 25 copies for 25 cents - attracted clients from a broad cross-section of the community. "Keep All You Wish" features more than 35 images by Mangum, along with photo buttons, fliers, contact sheets and original photographic prints from the artist's studio. While the exhibition will appeal to a wide range of visitors, individuals interested in portrait photography, African American history, Women's Studies and life and fashion in the early 20th-century American South will especially enjoy Mangum's work.

Talking about his work May 8 will be guest curator Sarah Stacke, a documentary photographer dedicated to developing intimate stories about intersections of culture, history and geography that create marginalized communities. Stacke is currently a Lewis Hine Fellow in New York City working with youth to create documentary work related to the criminal justice system.

The big picture

What: Sarah Stacke lecture on Hugh Mangum

When: 5:30 p.m. May 8

Where: Asheville Art Museum, Pack Place, Asheville

Cost: Free with museum membership or $8 admission