Andy Thompson’s column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch is about nature photographer David Everette’s gallery “The James and Assorted Wanderings” at the United Network for Organ Sharing, which is scheduled to end on Saturday, Feb. 26.
Few have seen that relationship develop better than photographer David Everette, a 59-year-old Richmond native who has been chronicling human life and wildlife on and around the James since 1970.
“Most people in the early ’80s and ’90s had no clue that the river was as beautiful as it is because most people just did not go,” Everette said. “People assumed that the river was polluted. It wasn’t a thing to go down there [20 years ago] and not see a single soul day after day.”
I’ve seen Everette many times at the river with his camera and I’ve gotten to meet once. In November 2009, the Richmond Times-Dispatch held an event “Night of Storytelling” and book signing for the James River Journal: A Year in the Life of a River. In many ways, that night pushed me past some of my internal roadblocks to becoming committed to the James River. I wrote a story from my experiences that night:
Photographer David Everette was good to hear from and meet. He said he has been photographing the James since the 70s and he seldom goes to the river without his camera. He lamented that he chose not to photograph the bad things he had seen in the James in 70s and 80s and he wishes now that he had – for context — to emphasis just how good we have it these days.
People protect it now. Worship it even. Paddlers, bikers, bird watchers, fishermen, adventurers, businessmen, educators, fathers, mothers, children….so many levels of people appreciating and helping keep the James clean.
The exhibition has 36 photos and runs through Feb. 26 at 700 North 4th Street. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For details, call (804) 782-4800 or visit www.unos.org.