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Wednesday, August 27, 2003
 
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Kennedy Museum hosts photographic exhibition by renowned alumnus

ATHENS, Ohio (March 27, 2006) -- Ohio University's Kennedy Museum of Art (KMA) will feature the work of renowned College of Fine Arts alum James Karales in a retrospective exhibition, "James Karales: Photojournalist," opening to the public Saturday, April 1. Admission and parking are free.

James Karales' 'Lower East Side, 1968,' silver gelatin printA native of Canton, Ohio, Karales graduated in 1955 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from Ohio University's College of Fine Arts. Karales honed his craft while working as a darkroom assistant for the great American photographer W. Eugene Smith, who became his mentor. Smith's influence was evident when Karales began documenting Allied forces during World War II. Karales became a staff photographer for Look magazine in 1960, where he covered important historic events in American post-war history, including the work of Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War.

"James Karales: Photojournalist" covers a broad range of Karales' work from 1955 to 1969 and consists of more than 110 photographs, 20 of which KMA recently purchased from the Karales estate with the assistance of his widow, Monica Karales. The purchased prints are now part of KMA's permanent collection.

"Acquiring James Karales' photographs provides an exciting opportunity for KMA to present the work of a great photographer whose vision germinated at Ohio University," said Paul Legris, director of KMA.

Art education graduate student Nicole McHugh and undergraduate students Kenny Pargeon, Mark Earnhart, Meghan Dillon and Emily Porter curate the accompanying education exhibition, "James Karales: Truth in Looking." The exhibition explores some of the powerful images created by James Karales and asks the viewer to think about the context in which an image is understood. The exhibition also pairs a traditional darkroom, much like the one Karales could have worked in, with a digital darkroom that helps people reflect on what it means to look for "truth" in photography and visual media images in the first decade of the 21st Century.

KMA will collaborate this spring with Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and the School of Visual Communication by serving as an instructional resource. Both schools have incorporated Karales' work into their spring quarter curriculum.

"KMA's collaboration with these nationally renowned schools allows for these students to fully appreciate the work of one of America's greatest photojournalists," Legris said. "Additionally, the exhibition serves KMA's mission of presenting and interpreting important works of art."

The School of Visual Communication will use the exhibition as a focal point for discussion and critical foundation for students enrolled in documentary photojournalism classes this spring, said Terry Eiler, director of the School of Visual Communication. In addition, an interactive media class will develop a prototype project in conjunction with KMA, he said.

"The Karales work is seminal photojournalism from a critical period of documentary photojournalism development," Eiler said. "It has a candid and contemporary edge that underlines a genre of work that the School of Visual Communication values greatly."

Students in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism will visit the exhibition as part of their classroom curriculum, said Tom Hodson, director of the School of Journalism.

"The work is a living monument to great photojournalism," Hodson said. "It sets an extremely high standard and should inspire our students to greater heights in their own careers."

The exhibition is scheduled to travel to Ryerson University in Toronto in September, 2006 and to Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the following year.

The exhibition is on display until July 30. KMA gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from noon to 5 p.m.; Thursday from noon to 8 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Guided tours are available on most Saturdays to provide information about current exhibitions. Pre-arranged guided tours are available to community and school groups with advance notice.

For information or to book tours call (740) 593-1304. For more information please visit our Web site at www.ohiou.edu/museum.

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Media Contact: Kennedy Museum of Art John B. and Dareth A. Gerlach Director Paul Legris, (740) 597-1811 or legrisp@ohio.edu, or Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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