Aug. 27--His college resume and early career with his own digital media company in Seattle, Wash., certainly were more left-brained endeavors in the business world. But after selling his server farm that delivered audio and video on the Internet to a public company in California, Grubb was ready for a new adventure. He began travelling a lot and discovered he was spending most of his time in New York.
Eventually he moved to the Big Apple and decided to enrich his hobby in photography by joining the Park West Camera Club that met weekly. The club helped his confidence grow, and from there, he soon applied to join Soho Photo Gallery, a cooperative-owned gallery originally founded by retired photographers from the New York Times, and whose membership, today, numbers around 100 fine art photographers. At first, they rejected him, giving him advice and suggesting he apply again in a year. Persistence paid off and eventually he became a member.
"It was never planned," he said of his fine arts photography career. "It was an accidental discovery."
He started with a small pocket camera and began capturing images of wildlife during his travels to every continent. As his love for wildlife photography grew, so did his collection of quality camera equipment.
The demand for shows of his work depicting some of the world's most endangered animals has grown from his early shows at Soho Photo to an opening in September in Malaga, Spain, and museums contacting him to purchase his work for their permanent collections.
Lexington resident Beth Parrott, who is also the immediate past chairwoman of the Davidson County Community College Board of Trustees, has kept up with Grubb's growing success in the fine art photography world through Facebook. Her husband, Mac Parrott, was Grubb's basketball coach at the YMCA when Grubb was growing up in Lexington. She decided to ask him to show his work in one of the annual art shows featured on campus in the Mendenhall Building.
"Earth's Vanishing Species" is an exhibition with 36 prints featuring Grubb's wildlife photography. The exhibition opened Aug. 18 and will run through Nov. 6. A closing reception and benefit auction of the work benefitting the Davidson County Community College Foundation will be held at the campus at 6 p.m.Nov. 6. A silent auction will take place where each piece will be offered for sale in a framed limited-edition print (edition size of 10) signed and stamped on the verso by Grubb.
"His photos are amazing," Parrott said. "I have watched George progress with his photography on Facebook. ... He has an amazing talent. I am thrilled he agreed to bring the exhibit here. The Grubbs have always been good to Lexington, and I thought he might want to come back and share his talent here."
Grubb's parents, the late Robert and Rochelle Grubb, were business owners and generous philanthropists for many charitable causes.
"It's a way to honor my parents" he said of the auction of his work. "They firmly believed a major way to combat poverty and help someone was through education."
Grubb was drawn to wildlife photography because of his love for animals.
"While looking at the beautiful prints is great ... I started looking for a deeper meaning. The conservation aspect is rewarding."
Animals in the DCCC exhibition include Maasai giraffes from the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, a baby harp seal from Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada, a silverback gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda and many more. Each print is accompanied by commentary of each animal's threat rating and obstacles to survival derived from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List. Many of the animals depicted are rated as "threatened" or worse by the organization. Their greatest threat comes from human activity, either through encroachment of their habitat, poaching, pollution, culling to protect agriculture or other activities.
Grubb takes at least four trips a year to continue to grow his collection of wildlife prints.
A select number of his photos will be available through an online auction that opens Monday at www.davidsonccc.edu/georgegrubb for those who can't attend the Nov. 6 event but still want to own his work.
Lifestyles Editor Jill Doss-Raines can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 219 or at email@example.com.
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