BY GINNY FITE
What is a community? What does it look like? How would you know if you saw it? Can you answer these questions without saying a word?
For three years under the direction of local photographer Benita Keller, dozens of photographers have been answering those questions, capturing in hundreds of photographs the people, places, events and landscapes that are Jefferson County. They are participants in The Jefferson County Photography Project, supported by the Arts and Humanities Alliance of Jefferson County (AHA!) and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.
A far cry from the shoot from the hip, digital phone approach, photographers in The Jefferson County Photography Project took their images using Kodak Tri-X black-and-white film and made silver prints in a traditional darkroom.
They took photos that interested them, in response to their own vision, in their own style. They saw the world around them in their own way and worked to interpret what they saw in front of them. The community they have depicted in the resulting photography collection is funny, warm-hearted, moving, connected, unique and breath-taking.
Beginning October 6 at The Bridge Gallery, The Jefferson County Photography Project will exhibit photos its members have taken of Shepherdstown, in honor of the town