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July 2011

Sunset River Marketplace in Calabash, NC, Offers Works by Gray Laughridge Wells

Art photography by Gray Laughridge Wells will be featured at Sunset River Marketplace, the eclectic art gallery in Calabash, NC, on view from July 9 through Aug. 13, 2011. The collection of works entitled, Artfull Images, consists of 20 photographs, many interpreting nature, particularly of the Brunswick Coast by Gray Laughridge Wells. A reception will be held on July 9, from 2-5pm.

The North Carolina photographer says, “I was hooked on photography as a little girl sitting on my father’s knee in front of his enlarger. Sitting in the dark seeing the image shine on the easel, dropping the paper into smelly chemicals and watching the photograph appear was sheer magic to me. Accompanying him on photo shoots from Appalachian mountaintop peaks to gleaming white beaches up and down the east coast are the wonderful memories of my very special childhood.”

Early in her career, Wells worked in the news industry. She spent 16 years with the New York Times-owned Star-News in Wilmington, NC. Describing her experiences, she said, “I photographed wildfires, drownings and all manner of violence. Working in the news industry you learn to think fast, grabbing shots as they come at you. You learn to work in a myriad of circumstances when you’re dealing with news issues, most you can’t plan for. Photographing people dealing with life’s toughest moments or life’s greatest joys was always a learning experience – emotionally and artistically.”

Throughout her career, the versatile shutterbug has also worked in architectural, food and fashion photography for various publications, including Wooden Boat magazine and Tasteful magazine in Wilmington.

Wells, who grew up in Marion, NC, and cites her father, an amateur photographer, as one of her major influences, along with the late Joe Nesbitt, who served as photo chief at the Star-News from 1958 to 1982.

Gallery owner and style consultant Ginny Lassiter said, “I was intrigued by Gray’s images as soon as I saw them and knew I wanted to build a show around her. Gray has a true photographer’s eye. She looks at the same objects we all do, yet she sees something completely different.”

“Probably my favorite piece in this show is the school of minnows,” says Wells. “My husband had taken our granddaughters out fishing and while I sat on the dock waiting for them to return, all these little minnows were just darting around like crazy.”

Wells adds, “Moving to the coast of Brunswick County in North Carolina in 2007 brought me back to enjoying the art of photography. Watching the tide come and go on the oyster beds or an incredible tie-dyed sunset over Shallotte Point are inspiration to me. The sights, sounds and smells of this special place has sparked a new interest in my work. My father taught me what to look for all those years ago and I’ve never stopped looking since....”

For further information check our NC Commercial Gallery listing, call the gallery at 910/575-5999 or visit ( The gallery’s Facebook page ( also lists special events, new artists and other happenings.


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