This weekend, Sharon Jegen and I had the opportunity to attend the grand opening of an amazing month-long art exhibit of Jay Stock’s work at the Stifel Fine Arts Center in Wheeling, WV. H&H Color Lab has worked with Jay Stock, Master Photographer, for many years, producing a variety of images and products for him, as well as working on many exciting projects such as this art exhibit. Therefore, it was a great privilege and experience to participate in this special event and to be able to spend the weekend with Jay Stock and his wonderful family.
The exhibit was the brainchild of Alesandro Baccari of San Francisco. He and Jay are long-time friends and share the same passion for documenting life and history. Alesandro handpicked all 96 images in this exhibit from thousands of images taken by Jay. Baccari writes of Jay - “ A photographer who excels in the true meaning of photography is the American photographer, Jay Stock, internationally acclaimed for his photographic images which have been described as thoughtful, lyrical, and perceptive. For more than sixty years, this former coal miner from Ohio and self-taught photographer has been traveling through life documenting with camera the lives of people. He creates images which have visual appeal and emotional content, images that have impact because of his awareness of the interrelationship of line, form, and color.”
One highlight of our trip was to visit Jay’s home where we saw his humble beginnings. He, like that of many photographers, combined his full service studio into his home. He built his home/studio over 47 years ago designing his camera room in the basement, along with a color and B&W darkroom and large production room. Jay said during the busiest time in his studio days, he photographed five weddings in one weekend. (Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?) Later, he began teaching and acquired quite a following of students across the USA and Canada. His students would spend at least one week a year photographing and learning from him. While Jay still continues to photograph and teach, he has taken on a new focus of producing coffee table books of his many photographic studies.
Currently, he has self published four coffee table books: The Wonderment of Creative Vision; Pictorial Artistry; Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel 1980’s; and Pictorial Petals. Through reading these books you will come to know Jay – his thoughts, his life, and his images.