PLATTSBURGH - As a teenager, William Crosby began taking photos. Now, at the age of 70, his work continues on.
This Saturday, April 18, the North Country Cultural Center for the Arts will host an exhibition of Crosby's lifetime of photography - in the traditional form as well as digital, in both black and white and color. The opening exhibit will be held from 5-7 p.m. at the art center.
"It's a very special exhibition, being that it's one artist from age 15 to 70," said NCCCA executive director Susan Daul. "It's a very
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interesting exhibition and one that needs to be shown to the public."
Crosby moved to the North Country in 1963 to become an art professor at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. There, he began the first official photography program, which continues today.
"It wasn't commonplace for colleges to have photography," Crosby explained. "I started it and then it eventually grew and by '75 there were two of us teaching full-time and it continues on course today."
As a typically landscape photographer, it may surprise people to learn Crosby never visited the Adirondacks prior to moving to Plattsburgh in 1963.
"It was exciting. It was new country for me and the Adirondacks were most impressive and it's always been an inspiration for a lot of my work in both photography and painting," he said.
"My interest in the natural environment began in high school and college," added Crosby. "In moving to upstate New York to begin a teaching career, the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain region intensified my interest in the natural landscape and the landscape grew as a primary subject in both my photography and painting."
In preparing for the exhibition, Crosby was able to experience all over again, the work he had created over the past 55 years.
"It's interesting to put all this together over the years," he said. "Many of these photographs have been stored and I haven't seen them for a number of years.
"To me it's a way of life," Crosby continued. "I'm not just taking a photograph of something, I'm making a photograph of something. It's making artwork. Creating artwork."
During the opening reception this Saturday, attendees will enjoy viewing more than a hundred photographs of Crosby's lifetime work.
"Many pieces are for sale," Daul explained. "Some pieces that have a lot of intrinsic value to the artist are not."
Daul added there will be prints available for those who do not wish to purchase a framed photograph.
Seventy percent of proceeds will benefit Crosby and the other 30 percent will benefit the art center.
The exhibit will be featured at NCCCA through Saturday, May 9, whenever the center is open.