Friday March 2 the photo exhibit Logan – Downtown – Welch 1946 West Virginia Urban Coalfield Life 2006, The Photographs of Russell Lee and Earl Dotter will open at the Museum in the Park at Chief Logan State Park with a reception and talk from 5 P.M. to 7 P.M. Supported by a Coalfields Grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council, the Clifford M. Lewis, S.J., Appalachian Institute at Wheeling Jesuit University has mounted this exploration of life in the two mining communities utilizing photographs taken by Russell Lee in 1946 and photographs taken by contemporary photojournalist Earl Dotter during the summer of 2006.
Last year the Institute’s exhibit Our Future in Retrospect? Coal Miner Health in Appalachia was extremely well received in venues throughout this state, including the WV Division of Culture and History’s Museum in the Park, and in Boston and Washington, D.C. It also combined the rich archive of Russell Lee photographs at the National Archives and contemporary photographs by Earl Dotter. The size and richness of Lee’s photos of Logan and Welch in the Archives prompted the Appalachian Institute to apply for a Humanities Council Coalfields Grant to once again marry photographs taken six decades ago with new pictures taken by Dotter. Dr. Jill Kriesky says “We are honored that the West Virginia Humanities Council has chosen to fund the follow-up exhibit that highlights economic and social changes in Appalachian coal communities over time. Like the first exhibit, the Downtown exhibit will further the Institute's mission to generate discussion about how to improve life in our region for all of its citizens.”
Housed at Wheeling Jesuit University, the Appalachian Institute is a center of research and analysis, education, and action focused on contemporary Appalachian challenges and opportunities. Reflecting the values of its culture, while remaining rooted in the Jesuit traditions of values and ethics, it collaborates with a variety of partners, attuned always to the struggles and dreams of the Appalachian people. The goal of the Appalachian Institute is safer, healthier, and stronger communities in the central Appalachian region and beyond.
The Logan – Downtown – Welch exhibit will be at Chief Logan State Park until April 1. The park is 4 miles north of Logan on Rte. 10 (Off Corridor G/ Rt. 119 take Old Logan Rd exit and follow signs). The Museum in the Park is open Weds.-Sat 10 A.M. – 6 P.M.; Sun. 1 P.M. – 6 P.M. The Museum phone number is 304-792-7229.