Candela Gallery Grand Opening!

Candela Books is proud to announce our upcoming exhibition of photography by Shelby Lee Adams, opening December 1, 2011 and running through January 28, 2012, at Candela Books’ newly renovated gallery in downtown Richmond, Virginia.


Candela Books + Gallery

214 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA  23220
M-F 11am to 5pm; Sat. 1pm- 5pm

This inaugural exhibition is in conjunction with the October, 2011 release of Salt & Truth, the fourth book from photographer Shelby Lee Adams, and will open with a private reception Thursday, December 1st, 2011 from 5-8 pm. The artist will also be talking about his work at 6:00pm Thursday with a book signing afterwards.

A public reception will take place Friday, December 2nd, 2011 from 5-9 pm.

“When I first discovered Shelby Lee Adams through his book, ‘Appalachian Portraits,’ I was struck by the stark honesty of the photographs but what I was equally struck by was the fact that these images were not from the Depression era as in the startling photos of the late Walker Evans but these were contemporary images of people living right here, right now. Not only is Shelby Lee Adams’ work breathtakingly beautiful, honest and soulful but it’s equally vital from a sociological perspective in its ability to open the eyes of those who refuse to see the truth.”

— Lucinda Williams, 2011

From the book description:

For more than thirty-five years, American photographer Shelby Lee Adams, has worked dedicatedly and deliberately with a view camera and film, returning each year to eastern Kentucky, to the mountains where he was born and raised, to the people he has befriended and been accepted by, to create a lasting chronicle of a mountain people.

Adams is often touted as a photographer of Appalachia and that is a fair description though perhaps not specific enough. Adams has worked all these years mostly in some six or seven counties in Eastern Kentucky, the area in which his family had lived for generations. The people that he connects with are comprised of the same fabric of which he himself is made. Part southern, part social, part guarded, part generous, part spiritual and, uniquely, part holler.

Of the eighty photographs in this collection, most were taken over the past seven years and for those who have followed his remarkable career, these photographs demonstrate how, in some ways, these hollers have changed with time. While the satellite dishes and University of Kentucky t-shirts suggest the encroachment of a larger culture, the timeless faces and the extended families on front porches remind us that some ideas, and some people, remain constant.

At his roots, Adams is a humanist. He doesn’t judge his subjects and his images are essentially collaborative in nature. These are documents fashioned to record an authentic time and place and meant to expose the depth and character of a disappearing lifestyle. Common to all of these images, is a sense of dignity and of perseverance supported by an extraordinary measure of trust because Adams’s distinctive ability has as much to do with the intuitive nature of compassion and acceptance as it does the technical and visual mastery of the photographic process.