Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Featured Arkansas Artist: John Humphry

The Arkansas Studies Institute houses four art galleries, including a retail gallery, featuring the work of Arkansas artists and art related to the state. This post is part of a bi-weekly series featuring ASI gallery artists.

John Humphry


I was born in Farmington, New Mexico, in 1959. I lived there until I was three and then moved to Reno, Nevada. At the age of five, I picked up my first camera, and we’ve had a love affair ever since. I started out with an old Brownie, then moved to a Kodak 110, and on to an 8 mm movie camera. And, of course, I played around with the famous Polaroid.

I became the family photographer as we traveled all over the southwest and northwest. That is where my love for landscapes began. The one memory that stands out in my mind more than anything is seeing Angel Falls when we visited Yosemite National Park. This awe-inspiring event, along with seeing Ansel Adams’s photographs at the visitor center, led me on the journey that is photography.

When I was ten, we moved to Arkansas, where I began to learn about all of its beautiful places. My family and I went camping a lot, and we would take weekend trips to my father’s hometown of Thayer, Missouri. That is when I first saw and fell in love with the Ozarks. At seventeen, I graduated from high school and went to work on tugboats. Of course, the 110 camera was right there with me as I traveled along the Arkansas, White, and Mississippi rivers. After two years on the tugboats, I went to work in a factory, and have been a tool and die machinist for the last twenty-seven years. My job has always been a way for me to travel and see things, but my love has always been photography.

After purchasing my first digital camera, I have traveled around the world taking pictures, even climbing 3,500 feet to get just the right angle on Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. Some highlights in my photographic journals include Amsterdam tulips in April, art and architecture in Paris, castles in Edinburgh, crown jewels in Scotland, the countryside of Ireland, the Rockies in Canada, wildlife in Zion National Park, stingrays in the Grand Caymans, waterfalls in Jamaica, beachscapes in Haiti, underwater life in Cozumel, and volcanoes in Hawaii.

Click here to see mroe work by John Humphry.


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