Stokes Arts to celebrate Black History Month at Hanging Rock Park Gallery
The Stokes County Arts Council is honored to host an exhibit by Dr. Arnold Hence at Hanging Rock Park Visitors Center and Gallery located at 1790 Hanging Rock Park Road, Danbury, North Carolina during the month of February 2016. The public is invited to visit the Hanging Rock Park Visitors Center and view this wonderful exhibit of photography which is free to the public.
Photographer Arnold Hence’s art reflects his life. “My photography is really a reflection of who I am and how my life has evolved over the years,” said Hence, who lives in King with his wife, Anna. Dr. Hence is passionate about his work and loves to photograph old cars, landscapes, and other images. However, his main focus is photographing civil-rights memorials and historic sites, and he hopes the images inspire others to investigate historic sites.
“The civil-rights work emanated from being stationed in the deep South during the civil-rights era,” he said. “Many of the places where tragedies occurred are now historical landmarks.” The civil-rights images show “how far we have come as a country,” he said. “It shows how far African-American people have come. It also shows how far we have to go.”
Hence has had more time to pursue his passion for photography since he retired in 2010 from his job as executive vice president of Forsyth Technical Community College. “I first became interested in photography through a TV program,” Hence said. It was called “Man with A Camera” and starred Charles Bronson. “My mom bought me an old Polaroid, and I carried it almost everywhere.” After leaving high school in the eleventh grade, he received his GED in the U.S. Army. He served for seven years and worked as a radar and computer repairman when there was a threat from Russian missiles. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Rutgers University, and he did his doctoral dissertation on race relations in higher education. He transferred his knowledge of how systems work to systems of people when he became an administrator in higher education.
Since he’s retired, he spends at least part of each day on his photography. His study doubles as his workspace. “Photography enables me to relax, reflect, do only what I want to do and speak my mind through my art.” He said. He takes his camera with him when he travels and incorporates photo shoots along the way. Other times, he makes special trips to capture images, like the trip to South Carolina when the Confederate flag was removed from the state capitol.
Hanging Rock Park Visitor Center Hours 9:00am – 4:45pm daily. For more information please contact the Stokes County Arts Council at (336) 593-8159.