Larry Schwarm: Greensburg After the Storm
June 19, 2009 – August 16, 2009
Organized by the Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University
Marion Pelton Gallery
Larry Schwarm is one of Kansas’ foremost fine art photographers and his hometown is Greensburg. Prompted by a middle-of-the-night telephone call from his parents, he hurried to his hometown, checked on his family, and began a series of photographs the morning after the devastating tornado on May 4, 2007. Since that date, he has returned repeatedly to capture the stark reality of the surreal terrain that was once a town.
Schwarm’s photography has been recognized for its sensitivity to place and landscape. Rhythms of natural demise and rebirth – captured in arresting images – are a hallmark of his award-winning work. Often, he has investigated man’s imprint on the natural environment. In his Greensburg photographs, he instead stands witness to the catastrophic forces of nature and the annihilation of his rural birthplace.
Schwarm may be best known in this region for his extended series of lyrical photographs depicting the annual burns in the Flint Hills. His book on this subject – On Fire, Larry Scharm – was the result of a national award. Schwarm is the recipient of a MAAA/National Endowment of the Arts grant (1991), Hasselblad-kodak Educator’s Showcase Award (1998), Center for Documentary Studies Honickman Book Award (2002), and the Kansas Governor’s Artist Award (2002). Exhibitions with Schwarm’s work have been organized by the Smithsonian Institution, Art Institute of Chicago, Philadelphia Musuem of Art, Milwaukee Art Museum, and virtually every museum throughout the state of Kansas and region. Schwarm’s work was displayed at the Beach Museum of Art in 2001 when he was chosen as the Friends of the Beach Museum of Art gift print artist.
“Larry Schwarm: Greensburg After the Storm” is organized by the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University and has been generously supported by Banker’s Bank of Kansas, Harry Pollak, Reuben Saunders, Richard D. Smith and Sondra Langel, Southwest National Bank, Mike and Rhonda Vess, Kansas Arts Commission, and the Ulrich Salon Circle and Museum Alliance.