Every image captured by Somerset fine art photographer and artist Chuck Stanley tells a story.
One of his pieces of art, called “Hope,” was literally born in a stable. Entering the stable at sunrise, a strong and colorful beam of morning light caught Stanley’s attention as it pierced through a nail hole in the east wall.
After taking more than 30 different shots with his digital camera, Stanley was able to capture the image the way he saw it at that time: light pushing back the darkness.
This and other works of art are on display in a new limited-edition series by Stanley, “The Chazzo Signature Collection,” at The Center for Rural Development through Feb. 28.
The exhibit may be viewed Monday through Friday (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) and during extended operating hours at night and on weekends when the building is open to the general public. There is no charge to view the exhibit.
Stanley fell in love with photography as a teen
Stanley’s love for photography goes back to his years as a young teen in the 1970s developing film from a makeshift darkroom in his parent’s home. His older brother bought some photo processing equipment and rigged up a darkroom in a storage room in the basement. That’s where Stanley learned the art of rolling your own 35mm film as well as printing and enlarging prints.
“The passion started there. I identify myself more as an artist using a camera, as opposed to a photographer,” he said. “The technical aspects of the equipment are a means to an end, as I learn what is needed to create the intended art.”
Stanley spent most of his adult life and career in Texas. He worked in the field of aerospace and defense for nearly 30 years until the plant closed, forcing an early retirement in 2013. Afterwards, he moved to Kentucky and made his home in the Mt. Victory area.
A brain injury forced him to rethink his retirement plans. Remembering his early days as a photographer, Stanley started to pursue the art of photography again with a renewed passion.
“My hope is to inspire others to find passion in purpose and to reinvent ourselves amid the challenges we face by sharing our gifts and testimonies,” he said. “I believe art is enriched when the Creator of the creator is glorified.”
Rich history in the Arts
Stanley, a member of the Christians In the Visual Arts (CIVA), has a rich history in the arts. He was named an emerging artist at the 30rd Annual Main Street Art Festival (second largest outdoor art event in the nation) in Fort Worth, Texas, and participated in an “Art in Culture” seminar for local artists in Azle, Texas.
Since 2019, a collection of his work has been on display at the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital, UK Neuroscience Institute, as part of a permanent rotating gallery in the “Arts in Healthcare” program.