Photos By Josef Scaylea, Jerry Gay + 2 Newcomers At Burien Arts Gallery Starting Aug. 7th

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Burien Arts is presenting “Northwest Perspectives,” a show featuring works by two legendary northwest photographers (Josef Scaylea and Jerry Gay) as well as two newcomers, from Aug. 7th through Aug. 30th, with a free opening reception on Friday Aug. 7th from 7pm-9pm.

According to Executive Director Erin Williamson, photographer Jerry Gay will be on hand at Friday night’s reception.

This is part of the organization’s first annual Aperture August photography show, and along with the work of established photographers Scaylea and Gay, will also feature emerging artists Zeb Andrews and Tess Logan.

Jerry Gay’s Pulitzer Prize winning photograph, “Lull in the Battle” (seen below) was taken in 1975 in Burien, near Three Tree Point (on Maplewild Ave SW – see a map here) of local firefighters taking a break while battling a difficult house fire:

"Lull in the Battle," Jerry Gay's Pulitzer Prize winning photo, was shot in Burien in 1975.

Josef Scaylea, whose daughter Michele lives in Burien and helped put together the show, was Jerry Gay’s mentor and friend. Mr. Scaylea (who passed away in 2004) was the chief photographer for The Seattle Times and anyone who visits the gallery will recognize his iconic Northwest images.

Josef Scaylea’s photographs were always true to his vision.

“I strive for beauty in its myriad forms and for faithful reproduction which will carry a special message to each person,” he said. “I believe photography cannot be effective unless it is completely honest and without gimmicks.”

As fits his immigrant heritage from the village of La Costa in the mountains of Northern Italy, simplicity, focus, and dedication to hard work were hallmarks of his life and his photography. He grew up working from dawn until dusk in the family orchard in South Glastonbury, Connecticut.

His gutsy immigrant traits led him to leave the farm to study photography in New York in the mid thirties. Serving in the Army Air Corps in World War II, he photographed missions over Japan, Okinawa and the Philippines. Stationed at Paine Field and Moses Lake, WA, he discovered the great Northwest, vowing to make it home. He never left his Northwest home until he died in 2004 at the age of 91.

"Winter Sky and Mt. Rainier from Madrona" by Josef Scaylea.

Chief Photographer for The Seattle Times for 35 years, he won awards from Look, Life, Graflex, and the National Press Photographers Association. He taught and mentored many aspiring photographers, including Jerry Gay, who became a Pulitzer Prize winner. However, his greatest satisfaction was the joy his photographs brought to his viewers. Until shortly before his death, his camera was still in his hand – at the ready for the next great shot – photographing the sports, the people and the great scenic Northwest he so loved.

Many of the iconic Northwest scenes photographed by Mr. Scaylea during his long career will be on display at the Burien Art Gallery alongside the award winning work of Pulitzer Prize winner, Jerry Gay.

Photojournalist Jerry Gay has driven 500,000 miles of America’s back roads and highways over 40 years to continue his ongoing research of everyday life. With humor and acute philosophical perceptions, this highly acclaimed motivational speaker brings his visual and verbal insights to every audience he touches.  Jerry’s pictures and philosophy convey a positive and persuasive analysis to help us find hope and see solutions to the unique challenges we face in this ambiguous universe.  Jerry’s wisdom, his reverence for the earth, common people and sacredness of all life are revealed in his pictures, written editorials and public speaking presentations.

Jerry Gay’s achievements and recognitions span the length of his multi-media career. At age 28, Jerry won the Pulitzer Prize for news photography and the following year he served as president of The National Press Photographers Association.  A graduate and former instructor at the internationally acclaimed Brooks Institute of Photography, he’s shared his photographic talents with newspapers nationwide including:

  • New York Newsday
  • The Seattle Times
  • St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • Los Angeles Times
  • Maui News
  • Everett Herald

On occasion, Jerry Gay has self-assigned himself to create unique opportunities for small community promotions.  As an activist and multi-media artist Jerry has worked in three year segments with both the cities of Blaine and Roslyn creating social commentary and artistically expressive humanitarian projects.

Buttressing the work of these two well-known artists are emerging photographers, Zeb Andrews and Tess Logan.

Zeb Andrews took this photo with a pinhole camera.

Zeb has lived his entire life in the Pacific Northwest, so there is little surprise that he became interested in photographing its many natural splendors. Bitten by the photography bug a little over six years ago while hiking in the Columbia River Gorge, Zeb tries to combine his love for the outdoors with his passion for photography.

Zeb often travels with a small assortment of cameras to help capture places in creative and new ways, be it with a plastic Holga, a wooden pinhole or a Pentax 6×7 loaded with Ortho or Infrared film. Despite this small armament of equipment, he firmly believes that the most important things happen behind the camera, not in it.

“The entirety of my work week is also spent immersed in photography, working at Blue Moon Camera and Machine in North Portland,” he said. “Much of my inspiration has come from the photographers and photography I see circulate through on a daily basis, and I in turn enjoy passing as much of that along with my own photography as I can.”

A Northwest Native, Tess Logan received her BA with Honors from the prestigious Central Saint Martins College, part of the University of the Arts London. She has studied painting, sculpture, and photography at institutions in Europe and the western US. Ms. Logan was involved in a variety of group exhibitions in London including shows at the Westbank Gallery, and in the 2004 “Art in Mind – Part 2, 3, and 4.” She has had several solo shows in Portland, Oregon, including at the MC Salon Gallery, ArtSlate and the Portland Center Plaza. Last June she was in her first show since moving to Los Angeles at the Hangar Gallery. Her work is part of several private collections, both locally and overseas.

The Burien Art Gallery is located at 421 SW 146th Street in Burien (the blue house in Dottie Harper Park) and is managed by Burien Arts, a local non-profit with a more than 40-year history and a mission to provide innovative arts programming to the communities of the Burien/Highline region.

The Burien Art Gallery hours are:

  • Thursday, Friday and Sunday from 12-4
  • Saturday from 11-5
  • By appointment

For more information, please contact Burien Arts at 206-244-7808.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: As a young photojournalist, Jerry Gay’s “Lull in the Battle” became an iconic style I strived to emulate, but never could. Josef Scaylea’s nature photos and portraits were amazing, and I even still have his book on photography. To have both of these incredible “eyes” in the same show in Burien, with the change to meet Mr. Gay, is very exciting news.]

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