“Egypt: A Personal View”
August 19 – October 14, 2018
August 19: Opening Reception 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. – Artist Talk 2:00 p.m.
Photographer Bill Lemke Offers a Personal View of Egypt
In his four-decade career as an award-winning photographer, Waukesha’s Bill Lemke says his most life-altering achievement has been the ability to tell the stories of people and places at a particular time.
That gift will be on full display beginning Sunday, August 19, when Lemke’s exhibit, “Egypt: A Personal View,” opens at Alfons Gallery, 1501 S. Layton Blvd., Milwaukee. A reception will be held from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., with a talk by the artist at 2:00 p.m.
The exhibit features images captured during Lemke’s four trips to Egypt between 1985 and 1992, presenting his personal view on the lives of people in another culture and time. He said his aim is to encourage viewers to look for the goodness in others.
“I worked to tell the stories of people whose lives ran parallel with my own life, while contrasting with it greatly in so many ways,” Lemke explained. “Throughout these travels, I sought to capture the emotions of the people I met; their joy and pride as well as their sorrows.”
Lemke said he sees educator as one of his roles. “There is a great deal of fear and misconceptions in our society about people who look or seem ‘different,’” he said. He encourages those who attend the exhibit to view his work through what he calls an “asset-based lens.”
“Lemke captures the positive qualities he perceives in similarities—as well as differences—with ‘the other,’” said Valerie J. Christell, Alfons Gallery’s director and curator. “Through photographs of people and places that he encountered throughout Egypt, Lemke provides us with an extensive dose of the Egyptian culture of that era. He is able to open our minds to aspects of ourselves, and connections to our world, through his distinctive lens.”
Lemke said he chooses to photograph his subjects in black and white “because it allows me to emphasize texture, tonality and the emotional qualities of light.”
The winner of numerous Best of Photography and merit awards, Lemke’s work is represented in 20 collections nationwide. He gained international exposure as part of a group photography exposition in Yokohama, Japan, in 2014, and at a solo exhibition in Lauzerte, France in 2015. He uses traditional photographic darkroom processes and archival standards to make silver gelatin prints that maintain museum standards. His work is all limited edition with signed and dated prints.
“Egypt: A Personal View” will be on display through October 14.