'Walking Through WNC,' an exhibit of images

Staff reports

A collection of images documenting sights and personalities in Black Mountain and throughout Western North Carolina goes on display Wednesday, July 13 when “Walking Through WNC: An Exhibit of Images by Vagabond Photo Walks Group” opens with a 7 p.m. reception at Texture Gallery & Art Bar at Riverside Business Park, 2004 Riverside Drive (Suite P, Loft #2), Asheville. The show will be up through Aug. 20.

Photographs in the show are the results of Vagabond Photo Walks Group members roaming together with cameras through Black Mountain, Old Fort, Waynesville, Weaverville, Brevard, Hendersonville, Spruce Pine, Marshall and Hot Springs. Asheville is represented with shots of downtown, the River Arts District and West Asheville.

Photographer David J. Simchock captures the casual outdoor feeling of Black Mountain during a 2014 Vagabond Photo Walks MeetUp tour of the town.

The group is made up of beginning photographers, hobbyists and professionals. For many of the artists, this is the first time they have exhibited their work. The group is part of MeetUp.com, a network of local groups aimed at revitalizing local communities and helping people around the world to self-organize.

Professional photographer and instructor David Simchock started the group in 2014 and serves as its walk guide and mentor.

“We get together because we are interested in documenting life in Western North Carolina, making friends, improving our skills, expanding creative comfort zones and having fun,” he said. Secondary to that, he believes the group’s work at continuously documenting everyday life in WNC could create a valuable record of how the area changes year over year. “Adding all of our work together, the number of images numbers in the thousands, and the group isn’t even two years old,” Simchock said.

Opening reception attendees will see images of urban scenes depicting street festivals, breweries, musicians and markets. Photo styles range from minimalist interpretations to dynamic storytelling. About 50 photographs by 25 group members will be on display.

Many of the artists will be attendance at the reception. Refreshments will be served, and the event is free and open to the public. All art is for sale, unless other wise specified by the artist.

Currently, the Vagabond Photo Walks Group has more than 400 members, though not all attend the scheduled group outings. Walks take place two or three times each month with lesser frequency in winter months. New members are always welcome, and it’s free to join.To sign up, visit Vagabond Photo Walks WNC.