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'God's Country' photography exhibit opens at North Myrtle Beach Library

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Shallotte native David Pickett has several photographs from his pictorial art collection displayed at the North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Library through June 30.

The exhibit is dedicated to Pickett’s late wife, Brenda Purdy, his late uncle, Norman Jones, and his 89-year-old photo mentor John Davis of Asheville.

Pickett taught his wife various aspects of photography. She enjoyed photographing children and beautiful scenery. His uncle Norman encouraged him to draw while in the first grade.

“Every time I drew something, I would run next door to show it to my uncle. He would say, good, go draw something else,” Pickett recalled.

While a business major at UNC-Asheville, Pickett was introduced to Davis. He taught Pickett patience, how to see natural light, and awakened him to the tranquility and beauty of mountain landscapes and waterfalls in the Carolinas.

“God’s Country” is a collection of black-and-white and color photographs that capture the love, peace and beauty of subjects in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The collection is composed of kind-hearted persons, and beautiful, peaceful landscapes whose natural splendor have been magnified through the lens of Pickett’s cameras.

All photographs were shot on 35 mm and medium format film.

Pickett says photography is a calling and God’s gift to him. He does not hesitate to add his work is to glorify God, and to show God’s hand working through him.

“God’s photographic vision for me is inspired by the Holy Spirit, birthed within my heart, and then reflected upon my soul, for my naked eye to see and my camera lens to capture on film,” he said.

Although this 12-13 piece exhibit is roughly 70 percent smaller than normal, Pickett said viewers will still see photographs that are interesting, spiritually and visually stimulating, and filled with love, hidden beauty and tranquility.

He says often people watch him photograph scenery only to ask, “What do you see?”

His response is, “Don’t you see it? The hidden beauty and peace of God’s country.”

Included in the exhibit is a photograph of a foot-washing service in a Whiteville church that has a 1940s effect and a shot taken in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, titled “The Angel Walking Amongst the Dogwood Trees, Rocks and Pretty Waters.”

One of Pickett’s oldest photographs dates back to the summer of 1981 when he purchased his first camera. It is a classic picture of 72-year-old identical twins in front of the old F.W. Woolworth store in downtown Asheville. Those who concentrate hard enough will see a reflection of Pickett and his camera on the storefront window.

Also featured in the display are a Buddhist Monk from Thailand and churning water that looks like snow crawling across rocks and boulders.

Comments reflecting Pickett’s passion for photography are included.