The High Heels of Jazz exhibit at SECCA features work of photographer Bobby Roebuck

Bobby Roebuck with his art work at SECCA.

The High Heels of Jazz exhibit at  SECCA features work of photographer  Bobby Roebuck
April 14
07:24 2022

April is Jazz Appreciation Month. Both jazz and blues originated in the Deep South around the end of the 19th century. The blues came out of the African American communities, from their work songs, spirituals, field chants and hollers. Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots in blues and ragtime style of piano playing.

Bobby Roebuck primarily is a jazz photographer, with a unique artistic vision. He is a creative photographer striving to capture the essence of moments to be etched in memories for a lifetime. Bobby taps into his natural talent as a visual artist and utilizes his ability to manipulate light to bring out the true beauty in his subject matter.

Bobby shoots jazz concerts and is always fascinated with the dynamic musicians’ ability to bring sweet melodies to the listener’s ears. He becomes energized along the photographer’s pit as he catches each expression of the performers and maneuvers in the right position to secure the unbelievable expressions demonstrated in each face.

Eight of Bobby’s photographs are on exhibit at SECCA, highlighting all female jazz musicians, in celebration of April’s Jazz Appreciation Month, as well as Women’s History month, which ended in March. The exhibit, called “The High Heels of Jazz,” highlight women in jazz: flutist Althea Rene; saxophonist Jazmin Ghent; saxophonist Jeanette Harris; guartrist Andrea Lisa; saxophonist Mindi Abair; violinist Chelsea Greene; saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin; and flutist, Kim Scott.

SECCA’s Southern Idiom exhibition series launched in 2017 as a platform to elevate and celebrate the work of Winston-Salem artists. In contrast to many exhibitions at SECCA, works on view in Southern Idiom are available for purchase. Bobby Roebuck’s exhibition marks the 26th installment of the series, whose alumni artists include Sharon Hardin, Terri Dowell-Dennis, Ashley Johnson, Frank Campion, Mona Wu, Owens Daniels, Jessica Singerman, Leo Rucker, Kevin Calhoun, Paul Travis Phillips, Laura Lashley, Sam “The Dot Man” McMillan and others.

Nearly 50 people attended the opening reception on Saturday, April 9, with excitement and energy while viewing the exhibition. Mentor and artist, Jerry Haynes, was quoted saying, “Bobby’s art is an expression of himself by bringing out the heart and soul of the artist.” He described Bobby as a “Renaissance Man,” meaning he goes the extra mile to make sure the viewer feels the energy of the musician on stage.

Owens Daniels, local friend, artist and photographer, who was also intrigued by the exhibit, stated, “Bobby is known for his memorable downtown jazz festival posts on Facebook and other social media outlets. Bobby captures the essence of the musicians. You can literally see the expressions in the eyes of the artist and while viewing the piece you can get that toe-tapping and finger-snapping beat. The two-dimensional lighting and placement of the camera help the observer enter into a magical place.”

Bobby shared with the gallery audience: “As a photographer, my intent is to capture the expressions of the moment in the faces of the subject being photographed. Each expression promotes the energy, experience, and love for the music. The person seeing my photograph should almost feel like they are along the stage witnessing the show or concert. Through the use of stage lighting or my personal production lighting, the lights add shadows that demonstrate a dramatic image of the face, hands or a toe-tapping beat, which helps to mark the timing of the music.  Music and lighting bring life to the stage … and that’s what I want communicated to the viewer.”

The exhibition will be up through May 8. SECCA is located at 750 Marguerite Drive in Winston-Salem. Come out and enjoy the experience of the High Heels of Jazz by Photographer Bobby Roebuck. Admission is free.

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