David Simonton: Of This Place

By  |  September 3, 2013

This week we feature the series Of This Place by David Simonton, which focuses on the seemingly empty places of North Carolina. Simonton works in a traditional format using black and white film and prints, developed solely in the darkroom. He states,

North Carolina has been my home and subject since I moved to Raleigh from New Jersey in 1989. I have now photographed in 365 cities, towns, and small rural communities across the Tar Heel State. While I acknowledge the documentary nature of my work, I am compelled to photograph by the visual aspects of a scene: geometry, beauty (especially when perceived in the un-beautiful), and the transforming power of light.


Preview, the publication of the North Carolina Museum of Art, called David Simonton "one of our state's finest photographers." In 2004, the museum inaugurated its North Carolina photography acquisitions program by purchasing two portfolios—those of Elizabeth Matheson and of Simonton. Simonton's photographs have been included in group and solo exhibitions in North Carolina and in juried exhibitions nationwide. His pictures have appeared in Photography Quarterly, The Photo Review, and The Southern Quarterly: A Journal of the Arts in the South. He is the recipient of grants and commissions, including two Visual Artist Fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council (2000, 2008). In 2013, nine of Simonton's North Carolina photographs were acquired by the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. To see more of his work, visit his website.

Jeff Rich is a photographer based in Iowa City. His work focuses on water issues ranging from recreation and sustainability to exploitation and abuse. Jeff currently teaches photography at the University of Iowa. He curates the OA’s weekly photo series, Eyes on the South.