Witmer’s photography on display


TROY — The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is pleased to present Jim Witmer: A Retrospective Photography Exhibit. The retrospective photography exhibit will be on display Oct. 21 through Nov. 27. A reception honoring the life and work of Jim Witmer is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 21 from 5-6:45 p.m. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

Jim Witmer (1959-2020) was an artist and career photographer with roots in the Mennonite farming communities of northern Ohio. He began taking photographs while in High School, making a darkroom out of a second-floor bathroom in his family home. He earned a BFA at Ohio University in 1982 and entered the world of photojournalism. His love of photography flourished alongside radical changes in technology which provided him with opportunities to explore analog and digital tools with incredible flair.

Throughout his 35-year career as a newspaper photojournalist and videographer (The Miami News in Florida, the Troy Daily News and the Dayton Daily News), thousands of Jim’s images were published in the U.S. and worldwide, including in Time and Life magazines, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, United Press International, and the Associated Press worldwide. Jim was named the Ohio Photographer of the Year (ONPA) five times, and the Regional Photographer of the Year (NPPA Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Indiana) three times.

His fine art photography paralleled his journalism work, and he was experimenting with technique all his life. He leaves behind a vast collection of photos that illustrate the glory days of darkroom photography and its transition into digital forms. His last works are striking, focused studies of nature made on a flatbed scanner next to his computer, with no traditional camera in sight.

Witmer’s retrospective provides an overview of the many facets of his work; seen as never before in the connected galleries of the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center. View not only a sampling of his photography as published in books, magazines, and newspapers, but also his experimental fine art images and collection of antique cameras and photo equipment. Witmer’s career spans an era of rapid technological advances, revealing an artist with a holistic worldview and uniquely broad range of ability.

The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is proudly supported by the citizens of the Troy City School District through a local tax levy and generous gifts to the Friends of Hayner.

Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is located at 301 West Main St., Troy. Hours of operation are Monday 7–9 p.m., Tuesday – Thursday 9 a.m.–9 p.m., Friday & Saturday 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday 1–5 p.m. The Hayner Center is closed on holidays. For more information, visit www.troyhayner.org or call (937) 339-0457.

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