It Begins with Presence: The Photographic Legacy of Jack Leigh
By Bevin Valentine Jalbert
In the 1983 book Oystering: A Way of Life, Jack Leigh begins his introduction by
relating a childhood memory of an oysterman, saying, “I felt him to be a special
presence, a mysterious spirit who knew secrets I had yet to dream.” The prose is
layered and atmospheric, and Leigh sets the scene describing the man’s disappearance into the fog, even as the image recedes into memory. This man, a memory, no longer here, remains present in Leigh’s telling of the story, and Leigh captures his presence, if not literally, in the figures of the oystermen he photographed in the early 1980s. These workers become stand-ins for the absent man of Leigh’s memory.
SavArtScene: Photographer Ansley West Rivers shows the immortality of water
February 10, 2018
By Kristopher Monroe
Ansley West Rivers takes photographs that seem to convey the essence of the thing she’s photographing and not always the material actuality of the thing. She uses her camera to peer into the spirit world of nature and transmit back an image of what we may not be able to perceive with our corporal eyes.
Rivers’ “Seven Rivers” exhibition, which is currently on view at the newly opened Laney Contemporary Fine Art gallery, is a stunning visual journey that leads viewers to what Rivers calls “a precipice in the history of water.” The photographs aren’t meant to be a documentation, but rather “a depiction of unseen changes occurring on all rivers.” The photographs portray the Colorado, Missouri/Mississippi, Columbia, Rio Grande, Tuolumne, Altamaha, and Hudson rivers in large-scale compositions of staggering beauty and mysterious hues.
Eny Lee Parker’s New Ceramic Chainmail Has a Secret Message Encoded in Its Links
January 22, 2018
By Jill Singer
Where do you go after you’ve been named this year’s “breakout American design star” AND one of the best fashion brands of 2017? If you’re Eny Lee Parker, you just keep churning out incredible new work, even if you’re in the throes of an upcoming cross-country move. (Parker’s relocating from Savannah, Georgia, to New York City this month.) The triple-threat ceramicist/furniture designer/jewelry maker debuted a new collection this weekend at Laney Contemporary, a fine art gallery in Savannah. And while the new work covers some familiar ground (thick ceramic legs as table bases), Parker also dug deep into a new obsession: ceramic chainmail.
January 15, 2018
By Emily Testa
If you have attended an art event in the city of Savannah at any time in the past 20 years, you have probably met Susan Laney. There she is in deep conversation with an artist or patron, discussing the work as she adjusts her ever-present stack of bracelets, or connecting two people who know her, of course, but not each other. At a certain kind of party, Laney can’t take more than a few steps without being swept up into a hug. The art world is her world, so when it came time to hang her own shingle, she did things her way.
5 Questions with Katherine Sandoz
October 18, 2017
By Rachael Flora
The month of October carries a lot of weight, from the traditional harvest moon rituals around the world to the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Matthew’s destruction here in Savannah. Katherine Sandoz’s new show, “October,” captures that range of emotion through her work. The exhibition opened on Oct. 5 at Location Gallery at Austin Hill Realty and will remain up through Oct. 27.
City Talk: Laney Contemporary reinforces Savannah’s gallery scene
Business In Savannah
October 7, 2017
By Bill Dawers
The grand opening for Laney Contemporary Fine Art (http://laneycontemporary.com), Savannah’s newest art gallery, attracted a huge, enthusiastic crowd.
I arrived early for the event, and the crowd was still growing when I left. Owner Susan Laney estimates the attendees numbered at least 750, but the turnout was likely well above that.
Laney Contemporary brings unique art space to Savannah
September 26, 2017
By Kristopher Monroe
On Sept. 28, Susan Laney will reveal her newest venture to Savannah. Laney Contemporary Fine Art will celebrate its grand opening with an exhibition of exceptional artistic talent along with a few surprises.
Laney has been a fixture of the Savannah art scene for more than two decades. She received a photography degree from Savannah College of Art and Design and pursued her own artistic path for some time. Along the way, she connected with the iconic photographer Jack Leigh and eventually ended up running his gallery for many years. They forged a close bond and ever since Leigh’s death in 2004, Laney has been instrumental in maintaining the legacy of the internationally heralded photographer.
Is This Old Southern Town the Next Brooklyn?
July 31, 2017
By Katie Kiefner
With deep roots in Savannah, Susan Laney of Laney Contemporary knows that Southern art is way more than kitsch. Though the city’s premier art gallery lies on the outskirts of town, it’s well worth the drive to see SCAD graduates Ansley West Rivers’s spectral photographs and Menghan Qi’s disturbing mixed-media faceless portraits. Additionally, Laney exclusively represents iconic photographer Jack Leigh.
Savannah | west elm LOCAL
March 21, 2017
In 2013, west elm launched a small, experimental endeavor called west elm LOCAL. A collection of handcrafted regional goods, west elm LOCAL seeks to share the work of local makers while creating a lasting impact in the communities that we call home.
In 2017, west elm LOCAL came to Savannah.
A Photographer’s Love of the Lowcountry
Garden and Gun
By CJ Lotz
Working solely in black and white film and primarily photographing the Lowcountry, Jack Leigh, who died in 2004, was known for his moody, evocative glimpses of the South he knew—shrimpers hauling in nets, oak tree limbs reflecting in water, fresh melons for sale at a roadside stand. More than thirty of the Savannah native’s pictures are now on display in a new exhibition at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, The Spirit of the Place: Photographs by Jack Leigh, which runs through June 11.
The exhibition includes some of Leigh’s most recognizable shots, such as his haunting capture of the “Bird Girl” statue in Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery, which was used on the cover of John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. More of Leigh’s work can also be seen at Laney Contemporary Fine Art in Savannah, which manages his estate.
Works of ‘Midnight’ Artist to be Featured at The High
January 11, 2017
By Craig Johnson
The High Museum on Wednesday announced the opening of a new spring exhibit, “The Spirit of the Place: Photographs by Jack Leigh.”
Leigh, an accomplished visual artist from Savannah, has been capturing images of the South since the 1970s, along with the likes of William Eggleston and William Christenberry.
In 1993, Leigh did the piece called “Midnight,” which went on to appear on the cover of John Berendt’s 1994 book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” The bestselling book later became a movie in 1997.
“Midnight” will be included in the exhibit along with other pieces from Leigh, who works exclusively in black and white. More than 30 other works from the High’s collection will be featured in the exhibit, the museum said in a news release.
Low Country Gothic: Jack Leigh at the High Museum
April 18, 2017
By Matthew Terrell
Chances are, you already know the work of Low Country photographer Jack Leigh. He provided the iconic “Bird Girl” image for the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. This one image perfectly encapsulates the Southern Gothic tale of Midnight, and helped keep the novel on the New York Times Bestseller List longer than any other. But beyond this one iconic image, Leigh, who died in 2004, is not very well known outside of the Southern photography scene. While his contemporaries William Eggleston and William Christenberry traversed the South, Leigh stayed focused on his native Savannah. “The Spirit of the Place: Photographs by Jack Leigh,” on view at the High Museum of Art through June 11, presents the life and legacy of Leigh—including and beyond “Bird Girl.” All of the photos in this show are classic silver gelatin prints—Leigh was a classically trained photographer and never ventured into the world of color.
Art Review: Visual Art at the Westobou Festival in Augusta
October 13, 2016
By Yves Jeffcoat
“Unseen Patterns” was born out of the city’s natural borders formed by the Savannah River and Chesapeake Bay. Polish American artist Jowita Wyszomirska translates the weight of weather into works on paper and a site-specific installation, Unseen Patterns (Feb. 28, 2015, 11:41 a.m., Chesapeake Bay – Aug. 24, 2016, 9:03 AM Georgia), occupying more than a quarter of the Westobou Gallery. Laser-cut pieces of felt and Mylar teeter on hanging strands of black thread and monofilament, floating with a delicate balance offset by the darkness and heaviness of the thread.
‘Watershed’ showcases Telfair’s photography collection with an environmental edge
October 12, 2016
By Krisopher Monroe
As part of Telfair’s ongoing pursuit to share more of its permanent collection with the viewing public, an exciting new photography exhibition will run from Oct. 21 through Jan. 29. An opening lecture by assistant curator Erin Dunn set for Oct. 13 will be rescheduled because of Hurricane Matthew.
All three Telfair sites were shut down in the storm’s aftermath. The Jepson Center will open at noon Oct. 16 with a community day featuring free admission. The public can come enjoy the current exhibits, Artzeum for kids and a drop-in studio for all ages. The Telfair Academy and Owens-Thomas House will open at noon Oct. 17.
PAMELA WILEY FEATURED ON QUILTSTORY BLOG
December 16, 2015
Pamela Wiley was featured in QuiltStory blog as well as her quilts shown in Laney Contemporary curated show Story Line: Wiley, Howard, and Moneyhun from this year’s Westobou Festival.
‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’ brings cash, tourists to Coastal Empire
December 15, 2015
By Kim Wade
In January 1994, a little book with a big title put Savannah on the tourism trail.
Locals refer to “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” — published 20 years ago this month — simply as “The Book.” And that book is credited with attracting masses of tourists who have driven the city’s economic health in the years since.
ART & SOUL: JACK LEIGH RETROSPECTIVE ON DISPLAY AT SAVANNAH’S SCAD MUSEUM OF ART
December 15, 2015
By Allison Hersh
Jack Leigh, like all great photographers, was a master of light and shadow. Best known for his iconic image gracing the cover of John Berendt’s 1994 bestseller “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” Leigh created thousands of other photos chronicling life in the American South over the course of his career.
Art & Soul: Photographer Lisa M. Robinson dives into ‘Oceana’ at SCAD
December 15, 2015
Savannah native, Lisa M. Robinson grew up surrounded by water, but never fully appreciated its impact on her psyche until she moved to the Arizona desert five years ago.
This award-winning photographer thought the Sonoran landscape would serve as a rich source of inspiration, but ultimately realized she didn’t experience the deep connection with the desert environment she always felt with the Georgia coast.
STORY LINE FEATURED ON GOOD BONES BLOG
Good Bones Blog
October 21, 2015
Blogger Gabrielle Jade Hutchison’s featured a beautiful profile and write up on Story Line: Wiley, Howard, and Moneyhun curated by Susan Laney from this year’s Westobou Festival in Augusta, Georgia on her blog Good Bones.
LISA ROBINSON’S PHOTOGRAPH UP FOR AUCTION IN SEVENTH ANNUAL PHOTOBID FUNDRAISER
Laney contemporary’s Lisa Robinson’s Ileuvium from her most recent body of work Chronos will be up for auction in the seventh annual photobid fundraiser benefiting the infocus organization
Savannah Remembers One of Its Own: Full Circle with Jack Leigh
November 1, 2014
By Eliza Lamb
Some artists set out to capture the essence of a place, and some artists are the essence of that place. Jack Leigh is one of the latter. Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia his life’s work was capturing the heart of his town and his people for the world to share. Jack started photographing in the 1970s. A graduate of UGA, he traveled all over the world but found his heart was pulling him back home to Georgia. His early works are black and white streetscapes of the urban south, never crowded or hurried. They reflect a calm and consistency that comes with the hot sun and the landscape that reminds you of the history that has come before. A man and his dog on their shop porch, a young child holding on to an old man selling “cold mellons” on the side of the road, the pure joy of a rope swing that hangs above the quiet river. These spots that only a local would know and access that only a special spirit could gain. His subjects were of all genders, races and socioeconomic classes, and it is clear in his images that he treated them all with equal kindness, empathy and respect. Jack became known for capturing this spirit of Savannah and when the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was written, he was the one the publishers turned to to create its cover – an image that would change his career and the trademark of his hometown.
The Curious Case of Elizabeth Winnel’s Lips
September 21, 2014
By Neena Haridas
The world is divided into two kinds of people: the butt people, and the breast people. Fashion magazine Vogue recently declared 2014 as the The Year of the Booty, inspired by the famous posteriors of Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Lopez and Sofia Vergara. That’s as far as erotic art and human fantasy has ventured so far.
But there’s clearly more to our body than that. Elizabeth Winnel is a lip person. So, excuse her if you find her staring at your lips on the subway or bus. No, she is not being creepy. The Canadian artist/painter is looking for fresh inspiration for her next work. “The more flaws I can find, the better,” says Winnel. Ironically, her best muse and inspiration so far has been herself.
SCAD Honors Savannah’s Own Jack Leigh with Retrospective
August 13, 2014
By Benjamin Sutton
Jack Leigh’s work is ubiquitous in Savannah. Or, rather, one of his works in particular is on view in every other downtown shop window. You may not recognize his name, but you will almost certainly recognize Midnight, his 1993 photograph for the cover of John Berendt’s novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil—or “the book,” as locals refer to it, because no other has been quite so impactful. It has become a kind of mascot for the rebirth of Savannah, so much so that the 1936 Sylvia Shaw Judson sculpture Leigh photographed in Bonaventure Cemetery had to be relocated because too many tourists were trampling the Trosdal family’s plot. Leigh never reached such a wide audience, though he was well-known in Georgia and throughout the South until his sudden death in 2004 at age 55. The SCAD Museum of Art’s new retrospective, “Jack Leigh: Full Circle, Low Country Photographs, 1972–2004,” aims to give a fuller sense of his incredible formal skills, his ease with a broad range of subjects, and his driving need to document quickly-disappearing ways of life in the region where he was born and spent most of his life.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JACK LEIGH FEATURED AS PDN PHOTO OF THE DAY
July 30, 2014
Jack Leigh’s iconic Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil photograph (as well as a few others) featured as PDN’s photo of the day in anticipation of the upcoming Jack Leigh: Full circle, Low Country Photographs, 1972-2004 exhibition at SCAD Museum.
JACK LEIGH: FULL CIRCLE. SHOW MARKS 10 YEARS SINCE PASSING OF ICONIC PHOTOGRAPHER
July 8, 2014
By Jim Morekis
It’s the full spectrum of Leigh’s vision and talent that will be celebrated at the SCAD Museum of Art this summer and fall, with the ambitious and extensive exhibit, “Jack Leigh: Full Circle, Low Country Photographs, 1972-2004,” timed to mark not only the first decade since his passing in 2004, but the 20th anniversary of the publication of Midnight itself.
JACK LEIGH: FULL CIRCLE, LOW COUNTRY PHOTOGRAPHS, 1972-2004
By Bill Mindlin
Savannah photographer Jack Leigh, who died ten years ago at the age of 55, is perhaps best known for his 1993 photograph Midnight, which depicts the famous Bird Girl sculpture in Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery. The photograph was commissioned by Random House for the cover of John Berendt’s immensely popular 1994 book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
SCAD Museum of Art presents ‘Jack Leigh: Full Circle, Low Country Photographs, 1972-2004’
July 9, 2014
The Savannah College of Art and Design is pleased to announce the photography exhibition Jack Leigh: Full Circle, Low Country Photographs, 1972-2004, on view from Tuesday, July 15, through Thursday, Oct. 2, at the SCAD Museum of Art. The museum is located at 601 Turner Blvd. A free public reception will be held at the museum on Thursday, July 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
20TH ANNIVERSARY OF ‘MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL’
2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil that helped make Savannah a popular tourist destination. The story centers on wealthy Savannah antiques dealer, James A. “Jim” Williams, who shot his 21-year-old, part-time employee, Danny Hansford, to death in his Monterey Square mansion in the early morning hours of May 2, 1981.
INFRINGEMENT CLAIM FAILS BECAUSE LAW PROTECTS EXPRESSION
January 24, 2013
By David Walker
Citing the case of Jack Leigh v. Warner Brothers, the court went on to say that an accepted principle of photography is that “artists may not copyright the reality of [their] subject matter.” (The Leigh case was brought by the photographer who shot the cover for the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It was settled after an appeals court ruled that a reasonable jury might conclude that Warner Brothers, which commissioned a poster for the movie adaptation of the book, had copied the protectable elements of Leigh’s photograph, and not just the subject matter. That subject was a statue in a Savannah, Georgia cemetery.)
INTERVIEW WITH LISA M. ROBINSON
By Darren Ching and Debra Klomp Ching
Lisa M. Robinson lives and works in Tucson, Arizona. Oceana is premiered at the Klompching Gallery in New York, the exhibit is on view April 27—June 10, 2011 and will then go on to be shown in Hong Kong.
Farewell to a ‘Garden’ Photographer
December 31, 2007
As we come to a year’s close, we’d like to remember those we lost in 2007. There was Italian singer Luciano Pavarotti, television legend Merv Griffin, former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, Evel Knievel, Tammy Faye Baker, and recently musician Ike Turner.
But you also lose places and things over the course of the year. I got word that a gallery of Jack Leigh, a photographer I profiled when I was a reporter for CBS “Sunday Morning,” well, that it closed just last week.