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Chris Walters | The Mighty Chemung

26jul(jul 26)5:00 pm30aug(aug 30)5:00 pmChris Walters | The Mighty ChemungOpening Reception | July 26 at 6 pm. On View in the Houghton Gallery | July 26 – August 30, 2024

Event Details

The Mighty Chemung on view in the Houghton Gallery | July 26 – August 30, 2024

Artist Bio

A Corning, NY based photographer, recent solo exhibitions include From the Shadows at The Rockwell Museum and Impressions from the Finger Lakes at St. Bonaventure University. In 2022 I completed The Tradition Bearers, a portrait project centered on local traditions. I’m currently working on The Public’s School, a portrait project documenting the school’s role in community building and belonging that will exhibit in late 2024. For over a decade I’ve served as the Grants Manager & Gallery Curator for The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes. Previously I worked overseas as the Country Director & Educational Programs Manager for an international non-profit. I hold a MA in International Educational Development from Columbia University, a BA in Interdisciplinary Humanities from the University of West Florida, and I completed two years of service as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I draw inspiration from photographers Erika Larsen and LaToya Ruby Frazier and from cinematographers Hoyte van Hoytema and Grieg Frasier. I am represented by West End Gallery.

Artist Statement

My work centers on environmental portraiture and landscapes that strive to authentically document and showcase the people and places of New York’s Southern Tier. My portraits employ a community centered, participatory approach to empower people to shape their own narratives while my landscapes utilize often-unseen perspectives to convey the unique vitality and beauty of our region. Interconnected in purpose and pursuit, I ultimately aspire for these photographic stories to bring forth an affirming and dynamic vision of our community to the greater world.

Show Statement

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it – Norman Maclean

The Mighty Chemung is a story of tradition, preservation, and mitigation along the Chemung River Valley.

The son of a Coastguardsman, the water has always been a part of my life. From the Savannah Lowcountry to the Gulf of Mexico, I’ve always found solace and homecoming in its welcoming arms.

When I moved to Corning in the Fall of 2012, I immediately fell in love with a river that echoed the mountainous streams of my overseas adventures and the meandering salt marsh tributaries of my youth. Yet I would soon learn that as transfixing as the Chemung was, it was a river seemingly defined by the Flood of 72’, an event that literally and figuratively submerged this region.

With the flood’s 50th anniversary behind us, I sought to explore the Chemung River Valley of today. Was it forever plunged in the past or could it flow unencumbered into the future? I discovered a bit of both.

Over the past year, I traced the river from its beginning in Painted Post to its ending in northern Pennsylvania where it joins with the Susquehanna to continue onward towards the Chesapeake Bay. Eventually my journey took me further into the Southern Tier, beyond and above the river’s banks, to document places and lives intimately tied to the river valley. Along the way I experienced an interconnected ecosystem held together by an untold number of people proactively working to create a thriving, sustainable, and safe watershed. In these waters I encountered joy, resilience, struggle, perseverance, renewal, stewardship, sorrow, and hope. Fishers and Kayakers. Painters and Farmers. Activists and Culture Keepers. First Responders and Dam Tenders. Archeologists and Engineers. Government and Community. And so many more.

Through environmental portraiture and landscape documentation, I hope to have given authenticity and care to these stories. I invite the viewer to bask in the illumination of the Chemung River Valley, a mighty place where the past is never the past, yet a hopeful future might be just around the next bend.

171 Cedar Arts Center is a dynamic organization that enriches the community by offering exceptional arts instruction, contemporary art exhibits, and live performances. The Arts Center is in two historic buildings at 155 and 171 Cedar Street, in the heart of Corning, NY. The Houghton Gallery is located at 155 Cedar Street.

171’s Houghton Gallery at 155 Cedar Street.

This Artist is represented by West End Gallery – www.WestEndGallery.net.


July 26, 2024 5:00 pm - August 30, 2024 5:00 pm

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