‘Lost on the Road to Oblivion’

Story Submitted (mtfrontdesk@mountaintimes.com)

Article Published: Nov. 7, 2013 | Modified: Nov. 7, 2013
‘Lost on the Road to Oblivion’

'8 Billion Gallons' by Carl Galie

Appalachian State University’s Turchin Center for the Visual Arts opened a new exhibition Nov. 1 that sheds light on the damaging effects of coalmining on the Southern Appalachian region.

Winston-Salem photographer Carl Galie documents the practice of mountaintop removal in his exhibition, “Lost on the Road to Oblivion: The Vanishing Beauty of Coal Country,” in the Mezzanine Gallery of the Turchin Center through Feb. 8, 2014.

North Carolina Poet Laureate and ASU English professor Joseph Bathanti has written a suite of poems in response to Galie’s photographs that will be displayed throughout the exhibition.

For more information on the exhibit, visit http://tcva.org/exhibitions/1134.

About Carl Galie and Joseph Bathanti

Galie and Bathanti did not know each other before they embarked on this collaboration. It wasn’t until the two were brought together because of this exhibition that they realized the numerous similarities between them.

They grew up in neighboring counties in southwestern Pennsylvania in towns beholden to coal.

“…the friendship born out of it has been a natural,” Bathanti said. “Writing about Carl’s photographs has forced me to dig deeper into my own sensibilities about the environment — not to mention the research that has gone into the writing — and the ways in which poetry can engage in political discourse to bring to light in distinct ways, especially when teamed with images as powerful and provocative as Carl’s, very pressing dangers literally in our backyard.”

While the exhibition puts a focused eye on the coal industry’s damaging effects on the ecosystem in these areas, Galie has shifted the focus on the beauty of coal country rather than just the devastation.

“I prefer to focus on what will be lost, rather than what has been lost,” Galie said. “This project is not an attack on the coal industry but is only an attempt to expose the devastating mining practice of mountaintop removal that has only one purpose — maximizing profits. Coal still plays a vital role in today’s economy and will continue to be an import source of fuel until renewable forms of energy are developed.”

Galie will present an artist gallery talk at the Turchin Center at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 20.

About the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts

The Turchin Center is located at 423 W. King St. in downtown Boone. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Friday. The center is closed Sunday and Monday and observes all university holidays. There is no admission charge, although donations are accepted.

For more information, call (828) 262-3017 or visit http://www.tcva.org.

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