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PICK: Raymond Thompson and Riley Goodman at Candela Gallery 

Both exhibitions open on Friday, May 6, from 5 to 8 p.m.

click to enlarge Raymond Thompson Jr., "The Dust #1," 2019. Archival Pigment Print, 30 x 24 inches

Raymond Thompson Jr., "The Dust #1," 2019. Archival Pigment Print, 30 x 24 inches

Braving the elements on Friday evening? There are two interesting exhibitions opening simultaneously at Candela Gallery as part of this month's First Friday: First, Austin, Texas-based artist Raymond Thompson's sculptural solo show, "Appalachian Ghosts," while the backroom features an exhibition from local photographer, Riley Goodman, "From Yonder Wooded Hill."

Both exhibitions being on Friday, May 6th, with an opening from 5 to 8 p.m. They will remain on view until June 18th.

Thompson is an artist, educator and visual journalist based in Austin who works as an assistant professor of photojournalism at the University of Texas at Austin; he has worked as a freelance photographer for The New York Times, The Intercept, NPR, and NBC News, among many others. His "Appalachian Ghosts" series of sculptural and framed imagery from the projects "Dust" and "12 Men" reference "a tragedy in West Virginia when around 800 miners, many African American, lost their lives to silicosis due to improper drilling techniques while constructing a three-mile tunnel," according to the organizers.

Here's a statement from Thompson about his work:

“In 'Appalachian Ghosts,' I explore visual possibilities of what that time and place looked like, using primary-source materials to recreate the workers’ experiences in photographs. I have also recontextualized and re-presented archive photographs, originally made to document the construction of the Hawks Nest Tunnel dam and powerhouse. The few people caught in the photographic archive were often nameless and voiceless workers. Specifically, I’m looking at what has been left out of African-American visual history, which to date has mainly been documented with a colonial gaze. From this standpoint, I have sought to re/create work that has been informed by and made from historical documents and photographs.”
Riley Goodman, "The Shroud" - Archival pigment print, 24 x 30 inches.
  • Riley Goodman, "The Shroud"Archival pigment print, 24 x 30 inches.

In the backroom of the gallery, Candela's will feature a solo exhibition from local photographer Riley Goodman, whose latest narrative project and photo book, "From Yonder Wooded Hill," uses "the artist’s own family history as a vehicle to explore the power of folklore over the course of time," according to a release.

And here is some background from Goodman:

“From my ancestral West Virginia and North Carolina to the Patapsco River Valley of Maryland where I was raised, my family conjured superstitions and stories to make sense of their world. Walking on opposite sides of a pole splits two peoples' souls; it's customary to pray over floodwaters, and proper etiquette in the presence of a ghost involves asking, "What in the name of God do you want?" Growing up, I accepted this folklore as commonplace but came to understand with age that these stories were unique to a working-class, Appalachian culture.”

Both exhibitions will open Friday, May 8th and be on view through June 18th.

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