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From Celestial by Stephen DiRado (Hale-Bopp, Martha’s Vineyard, 1997)

While many of of Stephen DiRado’s projects are decades-long pursuits represented by thousands of sheets of exposed 8×10 black and white film, other subjects, such as “Celestial” are, by their nature, occasional. At 4:10 a.m. on March 24, 1996 on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Edgartown, DiRado produced his first photograph of a comet, Comet Hyakutake, using a small camera on a tripod, fast film (and warm clothes.) “The heavens organized itself in a remarkable way and with that first exposure, I instantly had “Comet Fever.” DiRado continued to photograph Comet Hyakutake for a several weeks. When he learned that less than year later, Hale-Bopp, “the comet of millennium” would arrive, “I realized this was a wake up call to be prepared and I was already an astrophotographer in training. I already knew how to do it.”

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White Barn by Bob Avakian

Emerging artist Bob Avakian and his wife visited Martha’s Vineyard for the summer in 1973 and it has been home ever since. Trained in architecture, engineering and building, for years he worked in the construction field as a custom homebuilder. After finding himself in management, removed from the satisfactions of hands-on involvement, he turned to photography as a means of self expression. As his photographic vision has evolved, he has been drawn to the natural landscape and an exploration of night photography.

At Davis-Orton Gallery, 114 Warren Street, Hudson

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