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Tobin Fraley: Reed-Turner Woodland Nature Preserve | Images and Words

River Ice - photograph by Tobin Fraley, Reed-Turner Woodland Nature Preserve collection

The Gallery in the Library is delighted to present works by poet and photographer Tobin Fraley, on exhibit from October 15, 2014 through early December 2014.

Artist Statement:

The extraordinary exists in small spaces. The environments surrounding us on a daily basis contain reflections of the world as a whole and when we take these surroundings for granted, we lose track of the bits and pieces making up our lives. For the past fourteen years my photographic goal has been to explore areas that at first seem ordinary, but upon closer inspection, like looking at a bug’s face through a microscope, expose wondrous objects at every turn. Whether it is a hotel room in Fresno, the gutters of New Orleans, a street corner in downtown Chicago, or even one’s own backyard, there are intriguing stories to tell and exceptional designs everywhere I look.

Artist Biography:

Born in 1951, Tobin Fraley spent his first ten years in Seattle, growing up in and around his grandfather’s amusement park. In 1962, the family moved to Berkeley, California, where Fraley soon discovered his father’s old 35mm Leica along with an enlarger and a few other bits and pieces of darkroom equipment. The political environment of Berkeley in 1960s offered him a chance to practice with the camera. A number of years later, he began to study photography in earnest. While living in New York, Fraley met professional photographer Bill Kane. Kane worked with Fraley on business projects and also shared his knowledge of the technical side of photography. Within a few years, Kane was pushing Fraley to work with the 4”x 5” camera under Kane's supervision. In 2000, Fraley and his wife Rachel moved to Long Grove, Illinois, in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. They settled next to the Reed-Turner Woodland Nature Preserve and currently own and operate several shops in downtown Long Grove. He is the author of three books: on the history of carousels, a holiday children’s story titled A Humbug Christmas, and a written and photographic exploration of the Reed-Turner Woodland titled 36 Acres. Fraley sells his photography through a local gallery, he is a published poet, and he teaches photography at the Chicago Botanic Garden.