GRA showing ‘The Faces of Morrison County’

By Tina SnellStaff Writer

The Great River Arts  (GRA) Association’s board, volunteers, director and others are excited about its newest exhibit, “The Faces of Morrison County.”

The exhibit opened Wednesday and will be shown to the public during regular hours until Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014.

Sister Julian Dirkes
Sister Julian Dirkes

It is the first time the arts center has attempted such an endeavor. Volunteers and members are very happy with the results.

“It took awhile to choose 30 faces,” said Executive Director Jill Moore, who wanted to feature faces of those who have lived in Morrison County a long time. “The first 20 were obvious to most of us, the last 10 were a little harder, they were all so good.”

The black and white pictures are hung or on easels, all without frames. They are vivid, crisp renditions of who these people are. Moore said she didn’t want the faces detracted from by adding a frame, or color, to the look.

“Each picture tells a story without words. One’s eyes are drawn to the faces. It’s a powerful visual,” she said.

The juries wanted a fabric of the community; a cross section of who lives in the area. They chose doctors, teachers, farmers and others who make up the heartbeat of the area.

“These are unique people,” said Moore. “We noticed that the younger generation is not into community service as is the featured generation. “This a ‘thank you’ plus a way to honor them.”

The group featured at GRA are all 65 years and older. Moore said that group has a rich history but are the quieter members of the community now.

Marvin Reinhart
Marvin Reinhart

So many names were offered to be part of the exhibit, that the Association has enough people on its list to do another. After people have seen the 30 featured residents, Moore feels certain even more names will be brought in to the GRA.

Three photographers, Lisa Sherwood, Douglus Jenkins and Christina Johnson, were brought in to take the pictures. Three writers wrote the biographies. They were Marlene Chabots, Laura Hansen and Samantha Bruno.

Short biographies accompany the pictures and each has a quote attached. Moore said some will surprise the readers.