Photo exhibit is a study of birds

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The Upper Gallery of the Kirby Cultural Arts Complex in Roxboro is featuring photographer George Neece’s educational and inspirational photographic exhibit A Few North Carolina Birds. The exhibit will be on display the month of November and the reception will be held on Friday, Nov. 2 from 6 - 8 p.m. in the Upper Gallery of the Kirby Cultural Arts Complex at 213 N Main Street. The Person County Arts Council, Person County Recreation, Arts and Parks and Piedmont Community College sponsor the Kirby and Upper Galleries.

Neece has spent most of his life employed as a scientist, studying theoretical aspects of physical chemistry, in which he holds a doctorate. Neece states that his more exciting times began in 1962 when he married his wife who owned a better camera that he did, and he goes on to say that the camera was not the reason for their marriage. Together they discovered and photographed wildflowers in the gorges around Ithaca, New York while they both were doing postdoctoral studies at Cornell University in 1967 and 1968.

Neece said that was when began his attempts at wildlife photography. Ansel Adams is his photographer hero that he met in Washington, D.C. Adams was Neece’s inspiration for the art of photography but not for the study of wildlife. He says wildflowers have been a 50-year passion. Neece coauthored a paper on the discovery of a species of trillium when he was teaching chemistry at the University of Georgia.

He began photographing wildflowers around Lake Gaston and other parts of North Carolina about 20 years ago. His amateur interest in learning about birds and photographing them began about four years ago when he started “birding” with his friend, Colonel Paul Scharf, a true expert on birds.

Neece said there are just under 500 species of birds recorded in the North Carolina checklist of birds. Moreover, males, females, and juveniles of many of these species are very different in color. Winter and summer plumages can also be very different. Thus, an exhibit limited by space to 30 or 40 bird images can at best represent a very small sample of the birds which can be observed throughout a year in the state, even if you devote your entire life to seeing and photographing them. He says he started his hobby of observing birds too late in life. “There is so much to see, so much to learn that I missed while being employed at unpleasurable tasks.” He hopes that his photographic exhibit, A Few North Carolina Birds, will inspire others to enjoy these marvelous creatures.

For more information, call 336-597-1709 or visit the website at kirbytheater.com. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 1 - 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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