The Schaefer Center Opens a New Photography Exhibit on June 1st, Capturing Traditional Musicians of the South

Published Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 11:02 am

Dr. Dixon, Bluesman, Atlanta, GA, 2014


Timothy Duffy has been photographing musicians in the South for thirty-five years and is the founder of the Music Maker Relief Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Hillsborough, NC that helps elderly musicians meet their basic needs so that they can share their music with the world. The exhibit, Our Living Past features portraits of these musicians and still-lifes of Southern scenes in the form of twenty-five palladium prints created from Duffy’s wet plate photographs.

Our Living Past premieres at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts on June 1st, 2018 and will be on display until August 4th, 2018 as part of Appalachian State University’s annual summer arts attraction, An Appalachian Summer Festival.

The portraits featured in the exhibit range from little known harmonica players and blues singers like Dr. Dixon, Algia Mae Hinton, and Lena Mae Perry, to more famous, contemporary artists. Soul singer Sharon Jones, slide guitar virtuoso Derek Trucks, and blues legend Taj Mahal have all had their portraits taken in Duffy’s unique style and are featured in the exhibit.

The images were captured by Duffy himself and give a glimpse into the rich historical narrative and vital culture of Southern traditional music. Duffy’s life work, to preserve this culture, now takes on a tangible form through Our Living Past, and works to ensure that these important living links to our history get the recognition they deserve.

Our Living Past debuted in the Atrium Gallery of the Hartsfield Jackson Airport in Atlanta in 2016 and has traveled to various museums and cultural arts centers since then. The photographs in Our Living Past have garnered coverage from the NY Times and TIME magazine’s photography arms.


Derek Trucks, Guitar Virtuoso, Jacksonville, FL 2015


Lena Mae Perry, Gospel Singer, Newton Grove, NC, 2015


Freeman Vines, Visionary Luthier, Wilson NC, 2015


Ardie Dean, Sam Frazier Jr., Ironing Board Sam, Deep Blues Musicians, Hillsboro, NC, 2015


Sharon Jones, Soul Singer, Augusta, Georgia, 2015


Pat Cohen, Bourbon Street Queen, New Orleans, LA 2015



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