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Rural America subject of new photography exhibit at Waldorf College Art Gallery

Waldorf College
The newest exhibit in the Waldorf College Art Gallery takes a close look at some of rural America’s forgotten towns. Matthew Peake, a Waldorf College alumnus and former Buffalo Center resident, set out to capture ghost towns of the Midwest in his show “The Social and Economic Decline of the Rural United States.”

In his artist statement, Peake explains the inspiration behind the photography exhibit: “Over the past few years, I have traveled through the Midwest to once thriving, self-sufficient towns and photographed what remained. What do they have to say? Does it matter to us? Should it matter to us? That is the puzzle.”

He continues, “Small town life most often centers around the glory days – the golden years when today’s adults were kids. This show is a transport to those magical places once the magic has gone.”

“After noticing that many of our students had an interest in photography, I wanted to feature it in the Gallery,” explained Dean Swenson, Waldorf’s Art Gallery director and instructor of art. “That Matthew is an alumnus and someone who uses a camera both on the job and in pursuing his own art makes the exhibit all the more exciting.”

An artist reception will be held in the Art Gallery on Saturday, Nov. 23, from 2 to 4 p.m., with Peake speaking about the exhibit at 3 p.m. The community is invited to attend the free event.

“The Social and Economic Decline of the Rural United States” is open to the public in the Waldorf College Art Gallery through December 6. There is no charge for admission.