Sunday, November 08, 2009

Meet Michael Alvis and Buy His Book

I've been most fortunate living here in East TN to have made so many good friends with folks who are also talented artists. It might seem odd to some, but there has always been this very strong and powerful community of artists in our area and it's my pleasure to introduce another to you today.

Michael Alvis currently teaches photography at Carson-Newman College, my alma mater, and he's also a skilled painter too. We became friend when I was a student in the early 1980s and we soon found a shared passion - watching movies. This was back in the day when VCRs were top-loaders and we shelled out way to much money for movie rentals as we would rent massive stacks of videotapes and go on marathon runs which might last for 24 hours or more likely for 48 or 72 hours at a stretch.

Michael is from Rogersville, but has traveled far and wide - visiting every state in our country as well as living for several years in Japan. He was there again this summer and taking pictures of a place and a people which he truly loves. He has now collected some of his favorites for a book, titled "Japan {Shashin}" which is now on sale and you can preview the book here at this website.

I urge you to spend some time looking at the book, and hey, the holidays are about to begin so why not buy a copy or two or three for friends? And here, take a look at some of the other books Michael has for sale too -- you'll see much to enjoy and much to buy, so buy it!!

Michael creates images which I really enjoy - he has this knack for capturing images of our world which are sometimes on the edges of our daily perspectives, sometimes are right in front of us and he makes those images unique. Here, another book I really like is called "Dog Trade", a collection of photos which are all signs - hand-written signs, abandoned signs, and other signs of human life. A sample is below from his online gallery via the C-N Art Department:

Most every day of my post college life was surely shaped by the many hours and days I spent at the Art building at Carson-Newman. No, I was no Art Major, but the people and the ideas I encountered there have been a constant inspiration. Michael and others who call the Art Department home - Department Chairman David Underwood, Artist-In-Residence William Houston, and David's wife Susan Underwood, who is the Creative Writing professor at C-N - are also my friends and folks who made my life much better.

The image below is a portrait of Michael Alvis, and a cover to one of his books, made from the many images he captured in Japan with his camera. Now go and buy his work.

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