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Earl Scruggs Center presents Carolina Faces: The photography of Don Sturkey
Photos courtesy of The North Carolina Collection at Wilson Library UNC Chapel Hill.

The Earl Scruggs Center announces its newest special exhibit, Carolina Faces: The Photography of Don Sturkey, opening January 23, 2016 and running through May 15, 2016.
This exhibit features the emotion-packed photos of Don Sturkey, a retired photographer whose photos captured the societal changes that occurred in North Carolina and South Carolina throughout his 34 year career from the 1950s through the 1980s.
Sturkey's images include: a young, unrecognized Elvis Presley being turned away from the Charlotte Coliseum, ladies auxiliary of the Ku Klux Klan in hoods and robes, children living in poverty, public moments of government officials, and more. Sturkey had a gift for capturing emotions in his photos along with composition and technique.
The Lincoln County, GA native fell into photography by chance. While serving in the United States Navy in 1948 he repeatedly asked to be transferred, including a desire to attend photography school. He was finally granted the opportunity in 1950.
Sturkey has local connections as the Shelby Daily Star's first staff photographer. He attended Gardner Webb College in Boiling Springs, NC then joined the staff of High Point Enterprise following college. He began working at the Charlotte Observer in November 1955.
He was the first southerner and one of only two North Carolina photographers to win the National Newspaper Photographer of the Year Award. Beyond newspapers, his work has appeared in Live, The Saturday Evening Post, Look, Ebony, Stern, and Time.
Sturkey retired as chief photographer from the Charlotte Observer in 1989 after 34 years.
Sturkey's negatives have a permanent home in UNC Chapel Hill's Wilson library. UNC Chapel Hill and the Center for the Study of the American South are in ongoing partnership with the Earl Scruggs Center. Mr. Sturkey and Stephen Fletcher, the Photographic Archivist in the North Carolina Collection at Wilson Library, UNC Chapel Hill will be present during the exhibit opening to discuss Sturkey's work.
Thank you to UNC Chapel Hill, exhibit partner, and the City of Shelby, exhibit presenting sponsor, for making this exhibit and related programming possible. Program calendar will be announced January 15th.
Last Chance to visit Feast Here Tonight: Southern Food and Music Traditions
This is the final week to visit the current special exhibit, Feast Here Tonight: Southern Food and Music Traditions. The final day for the exhibit is Sunday, January 3rd. Feast Here Tonight opened in May and explores the common roots of southern foods and music. Local traditions include sharing recipes through church cookbooks (Central UMC Shelby book on display), livermush, roots of BBQ, popular southern brands, the Sanitary Lunch Counter (Canoutas family), sweet tea, and more!
The Center will be closed Friday, January 1st for the New Year's Day Holiday.
Cleveland County residents with valid ID receive free exhibit admission on Wednesdays. Regular hours of operation are Wednesday 10 am-6 pm, Thursday - Saturday 10 am - 4 pm and Sunday 1 pm - 5 pm. Learn more about the Earl Scruggs Center: Music & Stories from the American South and upcoming events and programs by calling 704-487-6233 or visiting www.earlscruggscenter.org.
The Earl Scruggs Center is a project of Destination Cleveland County, Inc., a non-profit 501©3 whose mission is to unite our county's history, heritage, culture and arts to create a vibrant economy while embracing the future and preserving the past.
Submitted by Emily Epley,
Executive Director Earl Scruggs Center


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