HANCEVILLE, Ala. — Photographic artist Arden Ward Upton surprised The Evelyn Burrow Museum with a gift of a piece from her collection “The Equus” exhibition to add to the Burrow Museum’s permanent display during a reception for her exhibit Thursday evening.
“It’s one of my personal favorites and depicts a horse that is very feminine,” she said. Called “My Love,” she said she imagines the piece would fit well with Evelyn Burrow’s personality as she has come to know it through her association with the museum.
“That was a wonderful surprise,” said Dr. Vicki Karolewics, Wallace State President. “I’d already picked out a few favorites of my own and when she mentioned the piece she was gifting to us was ‘feminine,’ this was the first one that came to mind.”
Thursday’s reception was held to allow area residents the opportunity to meet Upton and hear from her about the photographs she chose for the collection. Split into three groups, the exhibit includes photographs of horses from her farm, images of snow polo horses from Italy, and wild horses from the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
When asked which was her favorite, Upton said her favorite photograph is always changing as she adds new images. She added she loves photos that show a lot of details, such as eyelashes or individual hairs. She also loves photos that show the perspective of the rider, though they can be hard to take from the saddle, with both hands on the camera instead of the reins.
The wild horse photographs are particularly special to her as she sees the wild horse as the genesis for all horses. Wild horses, she said, are where all horses today came from. “Breeding has changed them,” she said, creating larger horses. Wild horses look like small ponies but they are full grown horses, she said.
Upton spent 10 days on the Outer Banks photographing the wild horses for the photos in her collection. They didn’t like her presence very much at first, she said. “Brownie’s mom was not very happy about my being there,” Upton said, speaking of a wild horse colt she named Brownie, whose photo is in the collection. “She kicked out at me and pinned her ears back.” The stallion leading the herd would take them mares from her, she added. Near the end of her time on the Outer Banks, it seemed they were getting used to her, but she still respected the horses’ space and kept a safe distance.
Upton’s photographs will be on display at The Evelyn Burrow Museum through May 16. The Evelyn Burrow Museum is open Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 256.352.8457 or visit www.burrowmuseum.org.