Merging the old with the new has created an exciting and imaginative photo exhibit at the Arkadelphia Arts Center.
Titled “Jane Ross – Sometimes All that Remains are Visions and Dreams.” the prints are on display now through Saturday, Jan. 25, on Wednesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
At the recent reception for the exhibit, Beverly Buys, project director and Henderson State University photography teacher, Rhonda Berry, project photographer, and Rebecca Fulmer, historian of the Jane Ross Archives, greeted the public and answered their questions about the photographs.
The prints were made by combining Ross’ vintage negatives with contemporary negatives from photos taken by Berry, a studio art graduate at Henderson.
The vintage photos are from negatives made of small schoolhouses, with teachers and students posed in front, from Clark County settlement areas in 1920 to 1930. Ross prepared
the negatives in her personal photography studio in 1951.
For this exhibit, Berry traveled to the rural areas where the schools stood and took photos. She then layered her negatives over Ross’ and made prints in the darkroom. The new
creations combine the faces and schools of the past with landscape and nature photos from the present in an imaginative way.
One photo in the exhibit depicts an old schoolhouse with teacher and students superimposed over a cloud-filled sky and a rocky stream.
The images are layered in an intriguing and almost ghostly manner. The photos are a creative body of work with plenty of history.
“Jane’s legacy gives opportunity to new artists,” said Buys.
Berry added: “I love the darkroom. It was very exciting seeing these images pop up.”
Jane and her mother, Ester Clark Ross, created the Ross Foundation in 1966, a philanthropic organization which benefits a wide variety of educational endeavors, including many in Clark County.