Date: Wednesday, Jun 27th, 2018

Time: 6:00 pm

Location: Stuart’s Opera House

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The Athens Messenger’s weekly picture page, which prints each Saturday, is part of a tradition stemming back many decades ago.

Many photographs from the newspaper’s archives are being presented at Stuart’s Opera House in a new exhibit curated by the Southeast Ohio History Center. Titled “The Picture Page: Portraits of Southeast Ohio 1966-1971”, the exhibit will open Wednesday at Stuart’s from 5-7:30 p.m.

The exhibit will feature a number of former Messenger staff photographers, including Jon Webb, Bob Rogers and Ken Steinhoff. Webb first pitched the entire of a “picture page” in 1966 to then-publisher Kenner Bush, who agreed to print a daily photography essay.

Jessica Cyders serves as curator and assistant director of the history center. In a description of the exhibit, Cyders noted that Webb left The Messenger in 1968 though several other photographers carried on the work.

“Together, they continued Jon’s vision of documenting the region, photographing ordinary people doing ordinary things,” she wrote.

That legacy continues today with the work of John Halley, a longtime staff photographer whose picture page is featured in each Saturday edition of The Messenger.

Decades ago, Bush’s general policy as publisher was to allow photographers to keep their original negatives and the copyrights to their images when they left the newspaper. Some of these photographers have partnered with the Southeast Ohio History Center to display certain works. A few years ago, the history center exhibited “The Sky Has Fallen: Troops, Teargas and Turmoil” featuring photos by Steinhoff taken for The Post and The Messenger between 1968 and 1970. The newest Picture Page exhibit will display a number of area communities, historical events and everyday workers.

“His photographs are stark, moving and deeply personal,” Cyders wrote.

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