In anticipation of the upcoming demolition of the Elwha Dam and the Glines Canyon Dam, the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center is opening a new exhibition by photographer Harry von Stark commemorating these doomed structures. Opening with a public reception for the artist from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, the exhibition is titled "Harry von Stark: Elwha Echoes - Future Relics of the Elwha Dam."
A resident of Quilcene, von Stark has devoted himself to photography full force as both practitioner and also promoter of other artists' work. He has for the past three years assembled monthly shows of Olympic Peninsula photographers at his Long Gallery at The Landing mall in downtown Port Angeles. As a photographer, he has balanced commercial assignments from local businesses with the personal fine arts imagery that brings him the most fulfillment.
The impending dismantling of the Elwha Dams provides him opportunities in both areas. Selected as one of the project's official documentarians for the historical record, von Stark quickly realized that he was witness to a soon-to-vanish marvel of industrial age technology. His access to the concrete bunkers from which the dam's operations were controlled, opened a vein of rich and powerfully graphic subjects that have been realized in the array of 30 images that comprise this exhibition.
These images of Elwha Power seem futuristic in their celebration of an era of monumental achievement in harnessing nature. At the same time they are monuments of a future that has come and gone.
The opening reception also features live music provided by Sequim ace guitarist and balladeer Noel Price.
The center is at 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd. near the Jones Street water tower. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday (10 a.m.-4 p.m. after Nov. 1). The show runs through Nov. 28. Admission is free.