This is the blog of Steve Burkett of Italy, Our Italy

The Results Are In -- Part 14

Index of Articles

While I was away for a bit, I am pleased to say that recognition of my photography once again came my way. This particular recognition came from the Vermont PhotoPlace Gallery. The gallery is located in the oldest remaining residence in Middlebury, Vermont. It was built in 1799 as a residence for the foreman of the water mill on Otter Creek. I haven’t been there, but it’s said to be a beautiful structure, with sagging, hand-hewn beams of lumber from local virgin forest of yesteryear.

I received word that one of my photos was selected for the juried show of July, 2018 — a show simply titled, “Black & White 2018”. Each year this gallery departs from a specific monthly theme to display black and white photos that they feel merit exhibition.

Here is the photo that was selected for the exhibition. I have titled this photo, “Sunset Gospel” — a play on the fact that the sun has set on this particular old church.

Sunset Gospel

I am always pleased when one of my personal favorite photos is selected for framing and exhibition, and this one is one of my favorites. i was doubly pleased (is that possible?) that my photo was selected for two other honors for the exhibition: it was blown up to 36” x 54” for the large banner advertising the upcoming showing; and it was the featured photo on their website’s banner, shown below.


The story of how the photo came about is typical of my photo journeys through the southwest. I am drawn to the communities that have begun to fade away, or have already done so. There were hopes and dreams involved with each structure I find abandoned. Someone selected a paint color, cooked in a kitchen that they organized, worked in a shop, preached at a pulpit, taught in front of a blackboard, served up a chicken-fried steak that probably covered the plate. So many busted dreams and broken hearts. But I hope along the way there were times of love, snuggling, happiness, warmth, success and fulfillment.

I came upon this structure in Grenville, New Mexico, just before sunset. Grenville is located between Clayton and Raton. Though I have traveled this road often, I had not noticed this small community sitting just off the highway. According to census figures, the population of Grenville in 2000 was 25 souls. Here is a photo of Grenville as it sits today. The red rectangle defines the building depicted in Sunset Gospel.

Here is the main entrance from the highway to the Village of Grenville.

Though not going strong, I’m guessing that Grenville is not at all down and out. A welcome sign, some concrete sidewalk, a picnic table with a tiny bit of afternoon shade, and a community center complete with a piano, are testament to community pride. I’m guessing that those who live here enjoy their community. I’m optimistic that their hopes and dreams are being realized each day while hundreds pass by without even noticing the place they call home — which is probably the way they like it.

Sorry for the departure from things Italian! We’ll get back to Italy next time.

Ciao for now,