Lee Hansley Gallery Presents “Black & White/Color & Light: Photographs by Allen Weiss and Works by His Subjects”

George Bireline 1988 © Allen Weiss

(RALEIGH, NC) – Joe Cox, George Bireline, Herb Jackson, and Edith London are only four of the 11 prominent North Carolina artists, both living and deceased, whose portraits and works will be featured in a special exhibition at Lee Hansley Gallery in Raleigh beginning March 13.


Entitled “Black & White/Color & Light,” the exhibition will include black and white photographic portraits of well-known artists by Allen Weiss, alongside examples of their work. The featured artists are: Edith London, Ted Potter, Herb Jackson, Joe Cox, George Bireline, Harvey Littleton, Maud Gatewood, Claud Howell, Robert Irwin, Francis Speight, and Sarah Blakeslee.


The genesis for the show began 23 years ago when Weiss returned to his native Raleigh

Sarah Blakesless and Francis Speight 1988 © Allen Weiss

after living in New York City for five years. Melissa Peden, a respected art patron and art gallery owner, suggested that he photograph “living legends of the art world in North Carolina,” he recalled.


Over two decades later, gallery owner Lee Hansley was made aware of the Weiss portraits and decided to show this body of work, which has taken on added historical importance since nine of the 11 artists are no longer living.


“This is going to be a nostalgic exhibition. These portraits capture the essence of these artists and we shall reinforce that with examples of their work,” said Hansley. “It is going to be a trip down North Carolina’s artistic memory lane.”


Hansley noted that the “black and white” from the show title refers to Weiss’ large-

Ted Potter 1988 © Allen Weiss

format, black and white images of the artists in their respective environments. “Color and light” makes reference to the works of art to be displayed in concert with the portraits.


According to Weiss, major advances in printing from original negatives have introduced a visual depth to his artists’ portraits that wasn’t possible when he shot them 23 years ago. “Simply put, I’m seeing details in these prints that I never imagined could be pulled from negatives.”


Weiss worked in Raleigh and New York as a professional photographer for about 15 years, including studying under and working for world-renowned photographer Arnold Newman. In the early ‘90s, Weiss’ career veered into directing and shooting television commercials throughout the US, Canada and Europe. Inspired by the opportunity to exhibit his photography again, he has made the decision to “put still photography back in the mix” of his career.


The opening reception for “Black & White/Color Light” will be held Sunday, March 13, from 2-5 p.m. Lee Hansley Gallery is located at 225 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27603. The exhibition will run through April 30.  For more information contact the gallery at 919.828.7557.


For more information on Allen Weiss, visit www.allen-weiss.com.

Max Cohen Captures The Essence of Need, Hope for Raleigh Downtowner’s December Cover

© Cohen StudiosDecember 1, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) – When the Raleigh Downtowner asked Max Cohen of Cohen Studios to create a cover image for the monthly magazine’s December edition, the photographer knew he had a special opportunity. The image would illustrate a lead article on small, less visible charities that play a large role in helping those in need in the Capital City entitled “Nine for the Needy.”

Among those charities is the Raleigh Rescue Mission. And it was there that Cohen found, with the help of the mission’s director of programs Brooks Ann McKinney, the perfect subjects for his cover shot: a mother and daughter who are about to embark on a much better life as they move into their own apartment.

Shanna, the mother, was feeling completely hopeless when she first came to the mission, McKinney said. Her one-year-old was born shortly thereafter.

Over the past year, Shanna has experienced “tremendous growth,” McKinney noted. “She’s totally different now from when she first came to us. That’s why I felt she and her daughter would be great subjects for this story.”

When McKinney brought Shanna and her little girl to Cohen Studios in downtown Raleigh, Max Cohen was immediately struck by “how calm, sweet and pleasant they were,” he said. “They were perfectly comfortable to just do their thing while I did mine.”

An hour and a half later, Cohen had captured a bevy of images that the Raleigh Downtowner’s editor and publisher Crash Gregg would pour over before selecting the one that appears on this month’s cover.

“We chose a poignant photo that evoked the emotional feeling that we were looking for in hopes that it would help raise awareness for local charities,” he said.

Another Cohen image of Shanna appears on the Downtowner’s inside-cover page with her quote: “The Raleigh Rescue Mission means a lot to me because it helped me get on the right track and gave me a second chance at life.”

Max Cohen spends most of his time creating studio and environmental portraiture as well as wedding photography, yet he also enjoys photojournalism, which is why he began working with the Downtowner in October.

“There’s an immediacy to editorial photography and a level of creative freedom that is really exciting,” he said. “It’s also a lot of fun to think about how the images I capture will enhance and illustrate a story or news item.”

According to the Raleigh Downtowner’s Gregg, Cohen’s image of Shanna and her daughter perfectly illustrates “Nine for the Needy.”

About Cohen Studios:

A graduate of the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, Max Cohen of Cohen Studios has been a professional photographer for five years, working in both digital photography and film. At H.I.P., he was exposed to a wide range of technical skills and studied under world-renowned photographers as instructors and guest speakers. Describing himself as a “generalist,” he enjoys all types of subjects, from children and high school senior portraits to commercial and editorial assignments. Cohen Studios is located at 311 West Martin Street in downtown Raleigh.  For more information, visit www.cohenstudios.com. Cohen Studios is also available on Facebook and Citysearch.

About The Raleigh Downtowner:

The Raleigh Downtowner is a local monthly print magazine dedicated to coverage of downtown Raleigh. The Downtowner’s online publication, www.Raleigh2.com, encompasses downtown and the surrounding area. Both are owned and operated by Crash Gregg with offices at 14 East Hargett Street, Raleigh. For more information visit www.raleighdowntowner.com or call 919-821-9000.

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