Pictured above: Painters’ Light (photograph) and Railroad Bridge (photograph).
The featured artist for July at The River Gallery is photographer and local attorney Charlie Heck of Monroe, Louisiana. Raised primarily in northeast Louisiana, Charlie’s first serious exposure to photography came after his graduation from La. Tech during a tour with the United States Air Force. Through the kind and patient instruction of an elderly sergeant who managed the base photo lab, he was gradually introduced to the entire gamut of photography and still vividly recalls the thrills of working in a wet darkroom and the excitement of watching negatives or papers develop, and images magically appear.
This early experience bred a continuing involvement with cameras and a growing, driven interest in producing images. The advent of digital photography and its progression to the point of challenging the advantages of film, commanded his attention. All of Charlie’s work is now processed electronically, using Photoshop and inkjet printers. He personally exposes, prints and frames his images, and uses only archival materials and processes.
While his initial interest was nature photography as a result of periodic visits to many wildlife refuges and preserves, Charlie is presently experimenting with high resolution scenic images. Charlie assisted in developing a photographic blind and an annual photographic competition at Black Bayou Lake NWR. Charlie’s photography has been nationally and regionally published in books and periodicals, and has been selected for book and wildlife refuge brochure covers. He has been accepted into juried competitions at the Masur Museum, the Biennial Louisiana Purchase event at La. Tech University, Livaudais Gallery and the Louisiana Museum in Baton Rouge. He has exhibited regularly at Art With a View, an annual photographic event in Monroe; and has also exhibited at the Schepis Museum, Upstairs Gallery and the Snyder Museum. One of his images is in the collection of the Biedenharn Museum. Another was selected by International Paper when a paper machine was being shut down at the Bastrop mill, with hundreds of prints having made using material from the last roll of paper for the company to give as gifts to its employees. Three of his photographs were accepted into the LPB juried event in Baton Rouge, and Charlie was selected to be personally interviewed in connection with his photography, with this interview being featured on the LPB DVD prepared and distributed in connection with the event.
Charlie is an active member of the Masur Museum and the North Louisiana Camera Club, and is Treasurer of Downtown Arts Alliance which promotes the visual fine arts through the local Art Crawls. He is past president of The River Gallery which represents his work in its Monroe and West Monroe, Louisiana galleries.
The River Gallery, 308 Trenton Street, West Monroe, invites you to come see this special show of Charlie’s work during the entire month of July. When you shop at your local gallery, you not only help our economy by keeping your money in the area, you also save on taxes and shipping. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Paintings and photographs by gallery members can also be seen at ORAG’s extension gallery located in the lobby of Ouachita Independent Bank/Bankers Mortgage Plaza at 18th and Louisville in Monroe. Call 322-2380 for more information.