as published in the Saturday, December 3, 2016 edition of the Blytheville Courier News
Contrast is powerful and beautiful. Day and Night are as different as can be. So too was the Historic Greyhound Bus Station Thursday night from its former life decades ago. Those of us that have been around for a long time can easily remember how chaotic and loud the old bus station could be as air force personnel and their families boarded or de-boarded the large buses. I can still remember, as a child, the smell of fuel and exhaust and how loud, crowded and quite scary the bus station was to me back then. Not so any more!
I had the privilege of being invited to a preview of H. Wolfgang Porter‘s “Day and Night in the Delta” exhibit at the downtown landmark Thursday night.
Not only is Porter a very talented and creative “jack of all trades”, but he is also a master of many of them. He self-identifies as a multi-media artist. He learned the art of photography while serving in the United States Navy. He is a graduate of Blytheville High and Arkansas State, as well as the Savannah College of Art and Design where he received a Master’s degree in film and television.
Not only is he a photographic artist, but he is also a filmmaker and an author.
He designed his exhibit to “help the people of Arkansas and the visitors see the splendor of the sunsets and night scenes of this beautiful state through the lens of the artist”. He did not fail!
I went to the exhibit expecting to see some nice pictures of local barns or animals or buildings, but not to have my multiple senses stimulated.
On display all around the former waiting area of the bus station are numerous works of photographic art, each of which take you somewhere. I felt as though I was looking through my childhood eyes of wonder. I became aware of how things used to look before I got too busy to notice.
Porter has an amazing eye for “the shot” as well as an almost spiritual way of communicating. He utilizes weather, sunsets, the moon, lights, water and movement to make you feel what the artist felt when snapping the picture. Even the subtle things such as the choice of street name in one particular piece plays upon emotions while viewing.
Additionally Porter also added two video screens of his work and sound effects in the background. All combined, his work bombards your senses and your emotions at times. The contract of shapes, shades, contours, precipitation, sounds and even water flowing down a drain, creates a sensual experience. You just want to wade your feet in the water! The steady flow of water and the background sounds put you at peace, for just a moment, before you are jarred out by the experience of his next piece.
He even included terrific hors d’oeuvres for the preview, and perhaps I was a little bit too hungry, but that even added to the experience.
I am pleased to say that it is well worth your time to visit his exhibit this week. I encourage you to do so. If you do not make it there, you are truly missing an experience. Go in with a quiet spirit and you will be transported.
One admirer made mention that people travel all over to see wonders, but they miss the beauty of things right here. Indeed!
The grand opening for the exhibit will be held from 6:30 p.m. until 8:3- p.m. on December 2. The exhibit will remain until December 8 during normal business hours of the bus station; otherwise, you can call and arrange for a viewing. Also, school groups are encouraged to visit and meet the artist as well. To make arrangements for either a viewing or a school group visit, please call 870-763-2525.