May 29, 2018

Pryor Art Gallery Hosts “Focus on Columbia’s Past” Exhibit

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - May 29, 2018) - - - The Columbia State Community College's Pryor Art Gallery has teamed up with W7thCo Vintage Photo Gallery to host "Focus on Columbia's Past," an exhibit to reconnect the community to its past while preserving a collection of photos spanning time for more than a century. The exhibit will have twin openings at each gallery on June 8, featuring artists' receptions at both locations from 5 - 8 p.m.

"I am delighted that we are partnering with W7thCo to expand reach of this collection of Columbia's history to the community," said Michele Wilkinson, Columbia State Pryor Art Gallery curator. "It is amazing to see people's eyes light up when they find a familiar face or family member in the photos. These photos not only mark an era - they are bridging the past to the present."

Both exhibits will feature photos from Columbia's past between 1875 and 1969 taken by photographers that worked with the Orman Studio including founder, W.A. Orman; his son, Claude "Buster" Orman; and Ray Burt, the last owner of the studio. The Pryor Art Gallery will display an antique camera collection and a collection of photos highlighting events and familiar faces; W7thCo will be complementing the collection with photos of different means of transportation, including automobiles and mules.

W7thCo owners, Kim Hayes and Joel Friddell, have taken steps to preserve the original negatives from which the prints were made.

"With the age of many of the negatives, and due to the conditions that they were stored, there is some deterioration of the photos and we have scanned the originals to upload on redundant online storage as well as create a database of information on each one," Hayes said.

Guests at each gallery are invited to submit any information they have on the photos displayed.

The Pryor Art Gallery is in the Waymon L. Hickman Building on the Columbia Campus. The exhibit is free and open to the public June 8 - July 25. Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. For additional information, please visit

The W7thCo Gallery is a vintage photo gallery located in the historic downtown district of Columbia at 107 W. 7th St. The gallery is free and open to the public Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday 12 - 4 p.m. For additional information about W7thCo, please visit

Focus on Columbia's Past photo from collection
Photo Caption:
Photo from the "Focus on Columbia's Past" collection.

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