Lawton Gallery hosts photo show of Katrina aftermath

GREEN BAY — A series of powerful photographs that document the physical and emotional destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina will soon line the walls of the Lawton Gallery on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay campus.

“Bringing it Home: Post-Katrina Photographs from New Orleans,” an exhibit by photographer Stan Strembicki, will be on display from Thursday, Sept. 11, to Thursday, Oct. 2, in the Lawton Gallery, located inside Theatre Hall on campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive. The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Lawton Gallery is open 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

Strembicki has been photographing New Orleans since 1982, visiting the city two or three times per year.

“After Hurricane Katrina, the city I knew so well was in shambles and nothing would be the same,” Strembicki said. “As an artist, I felt compelled to do something, anything. Where do you start when faced with an overwhelming event like Katrina, (with) a city emptied out and ruined?”

Strembicki started photographing for the exhibit shortly after the 2005 hurricane, focusing on symbols of loss. He gravitated toward found photo albums, wedding albums and snapshots.

“These were something everyone had and understood,” he said. “I brought along a 60 mm macro lens and made photographs on location of the objects I found, taking nothing with me but images.”

Accompanying this photographic exhibit are two audio works by Madison’s Helena White, titled “Stories from Katrina.”

Both of these audio works are comprised of interviews with New Orleans residents and helpers. White interviewed family members, community volunteers, doctors and strangers on the street. They give an insider’s viewpoint onto the many issues that residents and responders had to deal with in the aftermath of the hurricane.

Other events associated with the display will be an artist discussion and reception with photographer Stan Strembicki, and a showing of movie director Spike Lee’s documentary, “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.”

Strembicki will speak at the reception from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, in the Lawton Gallery.

The documentary film showing is from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, in the University Union’s Christie Theater. All events and viewings are free and open to the public.

For further information please call the Lawton Gallery Curator Stephen Perkins at (920) 465-2916.