Norris photographs vernacular buildings from the 19th century South, simply, elegantly. He cites Strand and Caponigro as influences. His printing process and resulting graceful images hold receding depths, textures, light and shadow that give the aging structures and enveloping forest-growth a presence rarely found in the photographs by his predecessors.
-- Carol McCusker, Curator of Photography, Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Don has a fine eye for elegance, simplicity, light, and composition, and for the givenness of things as they are. This work invites meditation, contemplation, repose for the eye.
-- John Wall, The Southern Photographer, Raleigh, NC
I am a native of northwestern Indiana and an emeritus professor of biology.
As a photographer of landscapes, I am interested in the everyday. My images are clean and specific. Most are black and white, with a modest subset of color. My portfolios, photographed from across America, center on the South. They are about visual elements that undergird our sense of place: our vernacular architecture, our broad landscapes, and our small commonplaces.
Most of my southern work could be thought of as middle-of-the-stream southern photography: images as vessels for narrative; about the old, the ordinary, the familiar; true to their subjects; quiet, often somber; and soaked through with southern gravitas.
I am drawn to vernacular southern architecture. These buildings are set clearly in place and time: each gives us a signature of its particular moment in the life of its community. Whatever the source of their design and the time and place of their construction, they are buildings marked by forthrightness, dignity, and elegance.
My photographs have been selected for numerous juried competitions, gallery shows, and museum exhibitions. They have won a number of prizes. My prints are part of the collections of several public museums in the South, and are in private collections as well.
PHOTOGRAPHIC RÉSUMÉ 2010 - 2017
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA
Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, AL
Art Museum of the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Do Good Fund Southern Photography Initiative, Columbus, GA
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
CURATED MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS AND GALLERY SHOWS
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA; “A Place and Time, Part II.” Richard McCabe.
Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS; “Common Passages: Reconsidering the American Scene.” Elizabeth Abston.
Gallery 130, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS; “NOW: Southern Photography Today.” Brook White.
Gammill Gallery, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS; “Southern People, Southern Places.” David Wharton.
Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Atlanta, GA; “Land Inhabited.” Annette Cone-Skelton.
A Novel Experience Bookstore and Gallery, Zebulon, GA; SlowExposures/ACP 2016. “Don Norris, Southern Vernacular.”
Palazzo Panichi, Pietrasanta, Italy; “Alabama Visions.” Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and Montgomery Art Guild. Mark Johnson, et al.
Alabama Black Belt Shows, Do Good Fund Southern Photography Initiative:
Smith Building Art Gallery, Marion, AL; “Eternal Moments: Photographs of the South.” Chip Cooper.
Main Street Galleries, Greensboro, AL; “A Changing Nature: Photographs of the South.” Kensie McNeilly.
Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS; “Mississippi Invitational, 2014.” Carla Hanzal.
Town Creek Arts Festival, Jackson, MS.
Lagniappe, Greenville, MS.
Oddfellows Gallery, Hattiesburg, MS; “Don Norris: Vernacular Expressions.”
Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS; “Recent Acquisitions.” Beth Batton.
Ka Gallery, Seminary, MS; “Recent Work: Cartee & Norris.”
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA; “New Southern Photography.” Richard McCabe.
A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX; “Earth.” Paula Tognarelli.
J. Wayne Stark Gallery, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX. TPS 26th International. Alison Nordström.
A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX; “Trees.” Michael Kenna.
City Hall Gallery, Montgomery, AL; MMFA and MAG; “A Summer Exhibition.” Mark Johnson, et al.
Grandstand, New Orleans, LA; New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival; “Americana Music Triangle.” Sasha Lecca.
A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX; “H2O.” S. Gayle Stevens.
Wittliff Galleries, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX; TPS 24th International. David Coleman.
Montgomery (AL) Museum of Fine Arts; MAG 41st Biennial. Tom Butler.
Meridian (MS) Museum of Art; 42nd Bi-State. Brian Kelly.
RSA Tower, Montgomery, AL; 49th MAG-Regions Bank. Deborah Velders.
NOPA Gallery, New Orleans, LA; Annual Members’. NOPA Board of Directors
Meridian (MS) Museum of Art; 41st Bi-State. Kim Bernadas.
The Cedars, Jackson, MS; 3rd Annual. Butler Snow Fine Art Committee.
R.F. Strickland Gallery, Concord, GA; 11th SlowExposures. Rob McDonald and Kevin Miller.
Meridian (MS) Museum of Art; 40th Bi-State. Mark Grote.
A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX; “Chair.” O. Rufus Lovett.
Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS; Juried Auction. Tom Rankin, et al.
Meridian (MS) Museum of Art; 39th Bi-State. Scott Betz.
NOPA Gallery, New Orleans, LA; Annual Members’. NOPA Board of Directors.
A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX; “Gardens.” Steve Goff.
NOPA Gallery, New Orleans, LA; “Light.” Julie Grahame.
Crescent City Brewhouse, New Orleans, LA; 2011 CURRENTS. Richard McCabe.
A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX; “Numbers.” Amanda Smith and Carol Watson.
R.F. Strickland Gallery, Concord, GA; 9th SlowExposures. Elizabeth Biondi and Peter Essick.
A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX; “America.” Clarke Evans.
E.E. Bass Gallery, Greenville, MS; Biennial Invitational. Lauren McCracken.
Mary O’Keefe Gallery, Ocean Springs, MS; 1st Juried. Miranda Lash.
A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX; “Simplicity.” Robert Hecht.
Members’ Online Gallery, Texas Photographic Society, San Antonio, TX ; Portfolio Competition III. Chris Bennett.
Online Gallery, Photo Place Gallery, Middleberry, VT; “Flowers, Trees, Birds Bees.” Alan Niriyi.
A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX; “Spherical.” Carla Elliot.
A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX; TPS 19th International. Katherine Ware.
Martin Museum of Art, Baylor University, Waco, TX; TPS 24th Members Only. Clark Baker, et al.
2016 Juror’s Honorable Mention, A Smith Gallery, “Trees.” (Michael Kenna)
2015 Finalist and Juror’s Special Honorable Mention, Clarence John Laughlin Award, New Orleans Photo Alliance (Carol McCusker)
Juror’s Honorable Mention, Montgomery Art Guild—Regions Bank 49th Annual Exhibition (Deborah Velders)
Art Galleries & Artists South Publisher’s Award, Montgomery Art Guild 41st Museum Exhibition (Tom Butler)
2013 Jurors’ Honorable Mention, SlowExposures, 11th Annual Show (Rob McDonald, Kevin Miller)
2011 Jurors' Honorable Mention, SlowExposures, 9th Annual Show (Elizabeth Biondi, Peter Essick)
Visitors’ Choice Award, A Smith Gallery, “America”
Mary and Charles Hardy Merit Award, Greenville Biennial Invitational (Lauren McCracken)
2010 Visitors’ Choice Award, Texas Photographic Society, 19th Annual International
Nancy McCrary, ed. “Good Bones: Portraiture and Architecture.” South x Southeast. Vol. IX (1), 2014.
Nancy McCrary, ed. “Flora and Fauna of the American Southeast.” South x Southeast. Vol. IX (3), 2014.
Nancy McCrary, ed. “Water.” South x Southeast. Vol. IX (4), 2014.
Jeff Rich, ed. “Eyes on the South: Don Norris.” Oxford American, December 7, 2013.
Kat Kiernan, ed. “Don Norris: 'Newbern Presbyterian (1848), Newbern, Alabama.’ ” Don’t Take Pictures, December 20, 2015.
Aline Smithson (with Betty Press), eds., "Don Norris: States’ Project: Mississippi.” Lenscratch, December 4, 2016.
John Wall. Notations and references. The Southern Photographer, 2011-2017.