A photograph and poster of the Eyes on Main Street Photography Festival from their website.

Barton art students participated in the installation of photographs for the opening night of the “Eyes On The Main Street” Photography Festival.

The second annual festival, containing art pieces from 100 artists, will be open from April 9 to July 10, day and night in Downtown Wilson.

Students hung the artwork, set to be positioned on the Nash Street for the next three months. Apart from hanging the artwork, they faced challenges such as dirt, wind, pollen, rain and wind.

Gerard Lange, Barton photography professor, said, “Work like this is an important experience for artists to take part in. Participating in the installation of an exhibition is something that artists can include on their resume. This is especially valid for those whom are enrolled in the Gallery and Collection Studies Minor program at Barton.”

Apart from Barton students who helped in setting up the artistic works, many artists from all around the world contributed to this exhibition by letting their artistic works be shared among many visitors of the festival.

One hundred emerging photographers from numerous countries come together to help revive Historic Downtown Wilson. This festival brings visitors from around the world, which benefits tourism and local economy.

Lange’s artistic piece was included in the last year’s exhibition.

He said, “Last year I had a photograph in the exhibition that depicted one of the buildings on Nash Street – Wilson’s “main” street. I felt this was appropriate since it was the first year of the exhibition and the photograph was from, of and about downtown Wilson.”

Lange was asked to participate again this year, but he declined since the focus of this year is different than what he usually photographs.

“When I walk down Nash Street it sometimes feels like New York or Chicago – you get transported out of eastern North Carolina into someplace completely different. That’s what good art is really about – transporting you to a place where the artist wants you to go,” said Lange.

Eyes On The Main Street Festival “brings world class photography to our community exposing – no pun intended – our citizens to incredible artwork,” said Lange.

The festival celebrates the “Think global, act local” concept, which intends to emphasize the cross cultural differences between different nations.

He added, “This show is not a singular event, but a collection of workshops and lectures that benefit students of all ages as well as the community at large.”

The Eyes On the Main Street Festival’s opening ceremony will occur on the Nash Street on April 9, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Live music by Rebekah Todd & The Odyssey will perform. Apart from music and the artwork, food and drinks will be offered for purchase.

By Smiljana Kljajic