Black-and-white nature photography exhibition debuts at LC this week


Laredo College’s latest exhibit will delight photography and nature lovers with a variety of breathtaking locations from across the United States.

LC Matthew Jessie’s ‘Temporal Nature’ is an ongoing series of black and white photographs highlighting the importance of greater consideration of the natural world in the 21st century. The opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, November 10 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Martha Fenstermaker Memorial Visual Arts Gallery. Admission is free and open to the public.

The exhibition will be on display until December 16. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Since the summer of 2018, this work has led him to explore what remains of seemingly untouched wilderness in the southwestern deserts and southeastern forests of the United States. Traversing in solitude across remote landscapes, often for miles, Jessie seeks ways to create visual interpretations of her experiences on earth, engaging with the non-human world in ways that bridge a perceived lack of human connection. and nature.

“These photographs visualize my hope that all is not yet lost, while acknowledging the grim predictions for the future of our planet,” Jessie said. “In light of these predictions, I feel compelled to share through my intuitive practice a depiction of these seldom-visited wild places that accentuates photography’s abilities to both trace and transform. Ultimately, alluding metaphorically to what purely scientific data cannot — the sublimity of nature.

Devoid of any direct evidence of man, the images point to our inseparable relationship to nature through poetic uses of visual language. They are meant to function as archetypal manifestations of what will be lost due to environmental threats and the evolutionary recognition of our place within the Anthropocene.

Jessie began teaching at Laredo College in early 2022. He earned a BFA in studio art from East Tennessee State University and an MFA in studio art from Arizona State University.

Originally from the Appalachians of eastern Tennessee, he developed a particularly close relationship with the natural world from an early age. This affinity for the earth continues to influence his work as an artist.

Although he was a photographer for most of his life, it was around 15 years ago that he began to use the medium of photography as an artistic outlet. After teaching photography for several years, he notes that seeing students learn to use their camera expressively is always rewarding and keeps him inspired as an educator.

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to showcase my photographs to the Laredo community,” said the Tennessee photographer. “I hope that everyone who visits the exhibition will leave with a new appreciation for the medium of photography.”

For more information, contact the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at 956-721-5224.

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