Recent News and Representation:
Here is the information on Jack's current exhibition.
End of an Era: The Photography of Jack Jeffers
Opens February 20, 2012 and runs through August 26 at the VIRGINIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY in Richmond, Virginia.
“This exhibition displays large-format black-and-white prints of people and landscapes from the Appalachian region of western Virginia taken by award-winning photographer Jack Jeffers. Before Jeffers moved to Wyoming, the Virginia artist donated 123 monumental images to the Virginia Historical Society. Jeffers stated in 1996, “What you have represents almost thirty years of my life. Much of what I have recorded is already past history and most of the people I photographed are either dead or close to it.”
“The show will consist of two dozen of the photographs you so kindly donated to the Society. Our designer and I decided that we best give your powerful images room to breathe -- and not stack them like the walls of the Louvre in past centuries. We are confident that the 24 images we selected will make a very powerful impact indeed! So too will the labels, because, aside from an introductory panel, we are using your words entirely. We obviously have utilized your website, and we make reference to it in the introductory label so that visitors to the VHS can discover it.”
Dr. William Rasmussen
The big news for 2011 is that Jack donated his Appalachian Art Collection to Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. This collection represents a formidable chunk of Jack’s life as a fine art photographer and the number of images approached seven hundred or better. Many are framed while others are matted or mounted. Jack felt that it was very important for his collection be returned to the area where the images were made.
The recent move to Colorado has put Jack right in the middle of some of Colorado’s most scenic countryside with the San Juan’s to the south, the Uncompaghre Plateau to the west, the Grand Mesa to the north and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison just east of his new home near Montrose. It's enough to keep him busy for quite a spell, and you can view a number of his new digital images on his blog.
When Jack has a few spare moments, he adds a few interesting tidbits of information about one or more of his many adventures or a particular image. The feedback on his images and stories behind the scene has been positive. Click on: FineArtofPhotography on Blogspot.
2010 was also a big year for publishing, and Jack completed two new books: FROM THE BLUE RIDGE TO THE SHENANDOAN AND BEYOND, and MY WYOMING OUTBACK. Both of these books are available on CD, and if you have a flat screen, you will appreciate the quality of the display. People are saying that the CD quality is equal to any specialty coffee-table publication. A CD book also enables the writer to include numerous color or black and white illustrations. Both of these books have been posted on Jack’s blog with ordering details.
Many of Jack’s images can also be viewed on the SuperStock web site. This is a stock agency that Jack has been using for over thirty-five years. Many of his color and B&W images have been used by art agencies and publishers over the years. To view a sampling of Jack’s images click on: SuperStock. Next, go to the search box and type in PG_1772 and hit the search button.
Collectors need to know that in the spring of 2005 Jack printed his last fine art silver print and sold his darkroom equipment. After 60+ years of printing, he decided it was time to part company with most of his vast collection and to orient his efforts toward ensuring that it is preserved for future generations. Jack is now seriously involved in exploring digital photography. It keeps his brain active and his eyes are always searching for one more beautiful image.
Before moving from Virginia to Wyoming’s Wind River country in 1997, and his final move to Colorado in 2008, Jack Jeffers spent almost forty years documenting the vanishing people and landscapes of the Appalachians. His is a poetic and classic view of rural America, and he portrays the land in a traditional and representational genre. Each of Jeffers' museum-quality images is a projection of his artistry and vision of the world.
In 1972, Jeffers elected to represent himself and market his work through art shows and multi-media galleries. Plus, many of his sales were made through direct contacts with corporate art buyers and private collectors. That is how it has been all these years. Hundreds of his silver images have been acquired by museums and private collectors over the decades.
As Jack reflects back over the years, there is one accomplishment that stands out above the rest; a goal became a cause, and he has the satisfaction of knowing that by pitting his art against other media, he raised the level of public acceptance of fine art photography. In a feature published by the Richmond-Times Dispatch, in 1972, it was stated that Jack was the first fine art photographer to take a best in show at a juried all media art show. This was a major breakthrough for photography.
After moving west, Jeffers broadened his artistic skills, combining transparent oils with some of his silver images. The finished works of art are both a photograph and a painting. The western landscape, with its varied textures and hues, is naturally suited for this mixed-media technique. Jack worked in subtle, layered tones that are quite different from the options available in color photography. The images are Jack’s from conception, to the camera and darkroom, and finally to the brush. Because the oil pigments he used will also endure indefinitely, his mixed media works, like his silver sulfide originals, will remain for the enjoyment of future generations.
The spring of 2005 represented a major turning point in Jack’s life. He printed his last silver sulfide image. It was a change that had been in the making for a number of years, but became a reality when he used the final sheet of his favorite printing paper. Classic papers such as those were no longer being made, and those that he used had been preserved in a freezer for nearly twenty-five years. Over the decades, Jack has carefully put aside about nine hundred of his rare vintage and more recent images, and in the spring of 2011 his collection of Appalachian images will be donated to Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. By keeping the core of the collection intact, future generations of art lovers will be able to enjoy the full scope of Jeffers' accomplishments.
Jack has had numerous articles published over the years with short essays and photographs illustrating his years as an active artist who documented the last of the mountain people. A new book titled, “My Wyoming Outback” has just been completed with one last book remaining, and that will be a documentary about the western slope of Colorado.
Far from being a sad moment for Jack, he has headed off in another direction using the latest in digital technology. At age 77, it was time to hang up his heavy film camera pack and take off on a new and exciting adventure. He now thinks Pixels rather than Silver Particles. But his view of the world around him has not changed. He is still inspired by the gentle, the noble and dignified, and the beautiful unfolding of life as he sees it.