SKOWHEGAN — An opening reception for “Ways Of Seeing,” a two-person photography exhibition featuring the work of John Harlow and Julie Searls, is set for 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, at 14 Madison Ave. The exhibit will be on view through October.

This exhibition juxtaposes the work of two central Maine photographers who document the experiences of rural Mainers, Harlow working more recently and Searls for the past 40 years, according to a news release from John Harlow.

While in conversation, both Harlow and Searls agree photography has become a ‘way of seeing’ and interpreting the world around them, a reflection of their own perspective. Both artists have a way of capturing people, places and events as they are with a sense of authenticity. These images serve as a preservation of culture in a particular time and place.

“I’ve been photographing as a form of personal expression for the past 50 years.” Searls said, according to the release. “I try to communicate the wonder and beauty of life. The photos in this exhibit depict what I saw in rural Maine 25 to 40 years ago. These images were taken with my Leica rangefinder camera, developed and printed the “old school” way in my darkroom.”

Harlow strongly considers how his photos will represent the people depicted in them, approaching people and their lived experiences with great sensitivity. There is a sense of intimacy in the portraits. Harlow describes his process as a collaboration, or having a give and take relationship.

“Navigating the personal interactions is the most difficult part of my practice, you have to get to know people and offer up enough of yourself to make them feel comfortable in exposing part of their personal life, both good and bad parts. We both become vulnerable,” said Harlow in the release.

Gallery hours are noon-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and by appointment.

For more information, email Harlow at [email protected].

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