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Exhibit showcases African-American photographers
by L.A. Story
Feb 11, 2017 | 1808 views | 0 0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A marriage of “the past and present” is what was imagined when the idea was conceived for the current African American photography exhibit called “Through the Lens.”

The exhibit features regional African American photographers who are established and known for their work. The exhibit is currently on display at the Corinth Public Library through Feb. 28 and sponsored by The Community News Flash in honor of Black History Month.

Community New Flash Editor Jerry Porter said the idea came to him as he knew Black History Month was approaching and he wanted to do something special.

“What I wanted to do was marry the past and the present,” Porter said.

He explained that he wanted to showcase photographers from the past and feature the work of local African American photographers representing the present.

The photography featured in the exhibit are the work of photographers Torrance Pollard, Queenie Christian and Jerry King.

Photographer Jerry King is a Corinth native who now resides in Georgia. He said he started by taking a photo of his daughter and granddaughter one day.

“About two years later, I got a camera at a local store and got hooked on it,” said King.

A biography provided by the Community News Flash states, “King considers himself a personal historian as he captures the essence of his clients in portraits taken through his studio J. King Images in Woodstock, Ga. He spent 10 years in the U.S. Army and 17 years in law enforcement before opening his commercial studio in May 2015. Entirely self-taught, King offers his editorial and portrait photography to serve the metro Atlanta area.”

King said he has done a lot of commercial work and has a lot of commercial clients. The work displayed in the exhibit reflects what is stated in his biography as King captured significant moments in time for the subjects he photographed. More can be found regarding his work at

The work of Queenie Christian of Booneville shows her love of event photography, portraits, and the action shots in sports photography.

She said she began her journey with photography being “just a hobby.” She used her father’s camera, but she said she was curious and always had ideas. Around the age of 13, she said she told her mother she wanted a better camera.

“It was all I wanted for Christmas,” Christian recalled.

Today, Christian has been a photographer for over 25 years alongside her career as a Booneville Head Start teacher.

At Northeast Mississippi Community College, Christian enhanced her skills through the school newspaper and annual and continued to increase her skills at the Mississippi University of Women. She is also a member of the Professional Photographers of America, according her biography provided by the Community News Flash.

Christian said her love of photography with youngsters is in “capturing a moment for kids.”

She said she enjoys the creativity photography allows her and the “good ideas God gives you to put out into the world.”

The photographer said her work is about making memories. She smiled as she gazed upon her work displayed in the “Through the Lens” exhibit.

“There’s a story behind every one of those pictures,” she said.

The largest body of work displayed at the exhibit is by photographer Torrance Pollard of Corinth. Pollard said his interest in photography began around the late 1980s when he borrowed a camera from his uncle, Chris Pollard. He borrowed the camera for a vacation trip he was taking. It was not long after that, he purchased a 35 millimeter camera.

“That was a film camera. You could take a picture, but you never knew what you had until you got your pictures back,” said Pollard.

Pollard laid aside his photography for several years, and then he said he purchased a digital camera about five years ago.

“I got involved with wildlife photography at Shiloh National Military Park,” Pollard said.

In his work taking pictures at Shiloh, the photographer said he would speak with other photographers and listen as they discussed different shots. He said he would take notes and then go out and try to get some of the same types of pictures. He said this activity has “rekindled the love he had of photography.”

He expressed enthusiasm at being included in the “Through the Lens” exhibit. He said he found it to be a great opportunity to get his work out where the public can see it.

“I hope others enjoy seeing the pictures as much as I did creating them,” said Pollard.

In a separate part of the exhibit, there are photos and biographies of renowned and influential African American photographers from the past such as Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist John White. There is also Moneta Sleet, Jr., who was best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of the funeral of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and many more significant photographers whose images chronicled the struggles and triumphs for African Americans.

The exhibit will culminate with a closing reception held from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, but the exhibit will remain on display until Feb. 28.
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