Photographer Dennis Church's show "Florida Moments" will open Jan. 4 at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center during Art Walk.
The photographs were all made in Florida but are not just about the place.
They are also about a state of mind and heart.
The historic Davis Art Center evokes nostalgia for treasured moments in the past and provides the perfect setting for Church's exhibit.
Church believes that the "fountain of youth" for which everyone searches is actually freedom from self and one's own mind, and the product of that: enduring joy.
Photography and photographs do that for him. Its process and products keep him in the moment, and in the moment there is eternity, joy, energy and excitement that wake him up to all life has to offer.
The exhibit consists of 76 images, each one 24-by-36 inches. Church has added extra photographs because of the exhibition space.
The large images will fill the Davis Art Center with colorful, everyday moments which often go by unnoticed but have been captured by Church along with all the beauty and exhilaration contained in them.
Born in Mason City, Iowa, in 1949, Church grew up on the family farm in Mitchell County, Iowa. He graduated from Iowa State University.
In 1975, he moved to Wisconsin and attended The University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying psychology. He began photographing that same year and was extremely moved by the power of the medium, so he left graduate school to pursue artistic goals.
Church is primarily a self taught photographer and attended artist's workshops in Millerton, N.Y., and The Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, N.Y.
He received project art grants in Wisconsin and exhibited extensively in the Midwest. He was a freelance photographer for 20 years, working on assignment for local, regional and national magazines, advertising and public relations firms.
Church left creative photography for close to 20 years to pursue business interests, but began photographing again after being "Rip Van Winkled" awake after acquiring new digital equipment. He has since produced a new large body of work and now lives in Bonita Springs.
He is highly influenced by the photographers Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander and William Eggleston, the painter Edward Hopper, and the creative depth and endurance of Bob Dylan.
The exhibit opens at 6 p.m. Jan. 4 and continues through Jan. 25. Catalogs representing the show will be available for purchase.
The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is at 2301 First St. in Fort Myers.