Ken Abbott photo exhibit begins June 3

Apples at Hickory Nut Gap Farm, medium format photograph and inkjet printer, 11 x 11 inches, from a recent documentary project by Asheville photographer Ken Abbott. Copyright 2008, Ken Abbott.

Apples at Hickory Nut Gap Farm, medium format photograph and inkjet printer, 11 x 11 inches, from a recent documentary project by Asheville photographer Ken Abbott. Copyright 2008, Ken Abbott.

The Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University will exhibit a portfolio of regional photographs by Ken Abbott that it recently acquired as part of its permanent collection.

“Hickory Nut Gap Farm Portfolio: Photographs by Ken Abbott” will run from Tuesday, June 3, to Saturday, June 28, at the museum, in WCU’s Fine and Performing Arts Center. The exhibit is free and open to the public, with an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, June 5. (The reception also is for a concurrent exhibit featuring the fine furniture of three regional artists.)

Abbott’s portfolio celebrates the living legacy of the family-run Hickory Nut Gap Farm, near Fairview in Buncombe County. Located on the old hog and cattle drovers route that once ran through Asheville, Hickory Nut Gap Farm is a regional symbol of social, agricultural and political development in Western North Carolina. The portfolio’s 12 photographs are selections from a larger body of Abbott’s work to be included in a forthcoming book on Hickory Nut Gap Farm.

Abbott received his master of fine arts degree in photography from Yale University in 1987. He was principal photographer at the University of Colorado at Boulder from 1987-2002 before moving to Asheville. At Boulder, he photographed for university publications and the media including National Geographic, The New York Times and Time Magazine. Abbott, a WCU adjunct professor of photography, received a 2006 N.C. Arts Council artist fellowship award and a 2005 Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Living Traditions Grant.

The museum’s summer hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, excluding school holidays. For more information about exhibits, contact Martin DeWitt, museum director, at (828) 227-2553 or mdewitt@email.wcu.edu; or Hillary Brett, assistant curator, at (828) 227-3591 or hbrett@email.wcu.edu. Visit the Fine Art Museum online at www.wcu.edu/fapac/galleries.