While bear sightings are a relatively common occurrence in Asheville, January’s show in Woolworth Walk’s F.W. Gallery will place the spotlight on these animals in a new way. Photographers April Johnson and Jeff Miller will display their images in a joint show from Wednesday, January 2, through Wednesday, January 30. “Through our photography at Woolworth Walk, Jeff Miller and I share intimate glimpses into the lives of our American Black Bears—glimpses that most people will never see or experience,” says Johnson. “Our goal is to bring a compassionate awareness of the bears and to help people understand that, just as we do, the bears want to raise their young, find nourishing food, live in safety and hopefully live long, healthy lives. We believe that each bear has value and should be given a chance to live a full life.”
Johnson received a camera as a gift in her twenties and soon discovered that it would be the chosen medium for her art. She moved to NYC and earned a BFA in Fine Art Photography from the School of Visual Arts, and has been totally immersed in photography ever since. Animals are some of her favorite subjects, particularly bears. “Together, Jeff and I share a strong sentiment and love for the black bears, and we hope to share that sentiment and compassion through our photography,” she says.
Miller, a photographer and photography instructor in Hendersonville, founded his company Mountain Lens in 2004. “I come from a very technical software background, but for the last twenty years, I have felt passionate about ‘lifelong learning’ to develop my creative skills as a photographer and to help other photographers improve their skills,” he says. His photos have been published in regional, state and national publications, and he has produced fine art prints for gallery exhibits, businesses and private collections. “My personal mission is to help everyone enjoy, capture, share and preserve the beauty around us, and our bear photography is part of that mission,” he says. The gallery will host an opening reception on Friday, January 4, from 4—6 p.m. During the reception, Miller and Johnson will host a “Big Bear Sale” in their shared Woolworth Walk booth, #229.
F.W. Gallery at Woolworth Walk is located at 25 Haywood Street in downtown Asheville. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 828.254.9234 or visit WoolworthWalk.com.