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WHEELING, W.Va. (September 24, 2012)- - Master photographer Jay Stock's 68 year career is being celebrated with an exciting exhibit on display at Oglebay Institute's Stifel Fine Arts Center.

Featuring more than 100 images of his work that were selected by Alessandro Baccari, a noted educator, author, curator and photographer from California, the exhibit takes place October 11 - November 9. A special reception with Stock and Baccari will be held from 1- 3 p.m. Sunday, October 14. The event is free and open to the public.

A member of the Photographic Hall of Fame, Stock famously captures the human spirit with his camera. With his passion for life, his love of humanity and his ability to find art in ordinary things, Jay has traveled the globe photographing various cultural groups in their everyday lives.

Stock has amassed more awards and decorations for his work than any other photographer. He received national acclaim in 1975 when he became the first photographer to exhibit at the United States Capital Building in Washington, D.C. The collection included more than 100 limited-edition photographs of African, Native American and European portraiture. Stock's "Faces of Today's American Indian" exhibited at the White House and is part of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts Collection at Harvard University.

"We are honored to host this exhibition. Jay is one of the greatest photographers of our time. It is a thrill to have all of these examples of his exceptional artistry in one place at one time," said Brad Johnson, director of exhibitions at Oglebay Institute.

Johnson said he is expecting a large crowd for the opening reception, as many of Stock's friends, colleagues and former students will be in attendance, traveling from many parts of the United States and Canada.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to not only view Jay's work but also to talk and ask questions of him, Mr. Baccari and all the exciting people who will be in attendance."

Johnson explained that Stock's trademark is his ability to capture the unique spirit that exists inside each of his subjects. Each photograph transports viewers into the lives of each subject, allowing viewers to appreciate the extraordinary beauty of people through the kind and talented eyes of Jay Stock.

Stock has completed photographic studies of the Amish, 14 African tribes, 30 Native American tribes, voodoo practitioners, Eskimos of the Arctic, cowboys, Coal miners of South Wales, West Virginia coal miners, Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel workers, the mountain people of Georgia and many others.

"Jay can go anywhere and work with any group, even groups that typically don't like to be photographed," Johnson said. "He becomes personally involved with his subjects. People just get a sense of comfort with Jay. As a result, he captures images that most could never get. That personal connection is always apparent in his photographs."

Four new books of Stock's work - The Wonderment of Creative Vision, Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel 1980s, Pictorial Artistry with Photography and Pictorial Petals- will be shown for the first time during the opening reception.

Stock's introduction to photography began at the age of 18 as a hobby while serving in the army. Upon completing his time in the service, Jay married, had a family and worked in the coalmines of Ohio. His interest in photography grew, culminating in his decision to attend The Progressive School of Photography in New Haven, Connecticut. Upon completion of his studies, Jay returned home and to his former job. Photography remained a side job. But as time passed and his clientele grew, he continued to follow his dream. He opened a small studio in Martins Ferry, Ohio and from the beginning specialized in photographing people. He has since traveled to five continents and created photographic studies of diverse peoples around the world. His skill, dedication and artistry were a primary force in elevating portrait photography to an art form. At 89, Stock is still an active photographer and maintains a studio and gallery in Martins Ferry.

On display in the Hart Galleries and sponsored by United Bank of West Virginia, this exhibition is part of the Helen B. Gaither Exhibition Season and is also made possible through the generous support of the members of the Institute as well as with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts.

The exhibition can be seen free of charge 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Evening hours are dependent on classes and special events. Call 304.242.7700 for complete evening hour information.

For more information call 304.242.7700 or visit on the web at