Greenville Museum of Art to exhibit local photos by famed photographer

"Beats" by  Burk Uzzle. Collection of the Greenville, NC, Museum of Art

An internationally recognized photographer turned his lens on eastern North Carolina at the request of the Greenville Museum of Art. The images shot by Burk Uzzle, like the one of Greenville's HYPE step team above, have been gathered into an exhibition called "Perceptions + Recognitions: African Americans of Eastern North Carolina!" that will be displayed from Feb. 3 through April 30 in the GMA's West Wing Gallery. Uzzle, a native of North Carolina now based in Wilson, is known for his iconic photographs of Woodstock, the civil rights movement and life in the American South. "Perceptions + Recognitions," commissioned by the GMA, includes 20 original photographs of eastern North Carolina residents. An accompanying exhibit in the GMA's Main Gallery will feature selected works on loan from Uzzle's archive, including 20 photos he took during the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in April 1968. "'Perceptions + Recognitions' offers individuals, families and organizations a way to experience their neighbors, whether familiar or unknown," said a statement from the GMA. "The title reflects the fact that too frequently we hold perceptions about others that are disconnected from their truths and therefore inaccurate. Art has always afforded us the opportunity to share seminal emotions with strangers, to realize a connection, to know that our human experience may not be unique although our circumstances may be unrecognizable. Uzzle relocated to eastern North Carolina because of his commitment to photograph those who sometimes feel they have no voice yet sing in front of his camera." Uzzle was born in Raleigh in 1938 and began his career behind a camera when he was 17 as a staff photographer for the News & Observer. At age 23, he became Life magazine's youngest photographer, capturing powerful images of people, places and things with his unique perspective. One of his best-known photographs, of a couple hugging at dawn, was used for the cover of the Woodstock live album. A series of receptions will be held at the GMA to celebrate the exhibition: Feb. 3, 5-9 p.m., featuring music by Pierce Freelon and his band, The Beast, beginning at 6:30 p.m. and a performance by HYPE Step Team; March 3, 5-8:30 p.m., featuring music by The Vines Sisters beginning at 6:30 p.m. and a performance by HYPE Step Team; and April 7, 5-8:30, featuring music by The Nathan Cobb Band beginning at 6:30 p.m., a performance by JoAnn Williams and a performance by HYPE Step Team. There is no charge to attend the receptions or see the exhibit. The Greenville Museum of Art is at 802 S. Evans St. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 1-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, visit or call 252-758-1946. To see more of Uzzle's images, visit his website.