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Opening reception Friday for Frank Francis photo exhibit

KNOW & GO

WHO: Retired Superior Court Judge Frank Francis

WHAT: Frank Francis: A Solitary Observation

A show of quietly refined photographs of images found deep in nature by retired Nevada County Superior Court Judge Frank Francis.

WHEN: Opening reception, Friday, Dec. 2, 5:30 – 7 p.m.

WHERE: LeeAnn Brook Fine Art

300 Spring St., Nevada City

A show of quietly refined photographs of images found deep in nature by retired Nevada County Superior Court Judge Frank Francis will be held at LeeAnn Brook Fine Art gallery and studio in downtown Nevada City for the month of December.

An opening reception with the artist will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday. The show is entitled, “Frank Francis: A Solitary Observation.”

The gallery will also host a special event with Francis, “An Artist’s Talk on the Creative Process,” from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Dec. 8.

The talk will include an interview with Francis and painter LeeAnn Brook, discussing the personal journey of their art.

The event, moderated by Nina Snegg, is $10 per person and includes complementary glass of wine and light hors d’oeuvres.

Seating is limited. Visitors may either pay at the door or reserve a seat by emailing leeann@brookdesign.com.

Photography for Frank Francis evolved slowly from long contact with the natural world, through backpacking, hiking, skiing and fishing in the mountains and rivers of the western United States. Frank and his family, seeking a rural life, came to Nevada County California from San Francisco in 1963. He practiced law in Nevada City until 1977 when he was appointed to the Superior Court. Frank served as a judge in Nevada County until his retirement in 1997.

During his early years on the judicial bench, Francis’ photography centered on the Sacramento Valley and foothills. As time went by, his interest expanded to foreign themes, which intensified after retirement in 1997.

The camera and an urge for adventure has taken him to very remote corners of the world, including Mongolia, the Middle East and multiple trips to Africa, Bangladesh, India and Myanmar. The mode of travel has been, most often, by small boat, jeep or on foot. Except for a guide and boat crew the trips have been solo in order to concentrate on photography. Seeking out very remote places has given fresh access to people and places. His goals have been to seek the lives within lives, the undertones, the fragments of lives bathed in mystery. Another goal has been to photograph the intensity and beauty of spiritual life often amplified by symbolism. The long trips on waterways have allowed a silent platform to watch the unchanged rhythms of life where daily tasks can take on memorable beauty, enhanced by the water and the sky.

“I am thrilled to showcase the stunning work of Frank Francis at my gallery, as I have been a longtime admirer of his photography and of the important part he has played in our community,” Brook said. “Francis’ sensitive work stops me in my tracks as a true emotion is felt in each image. I often wonder how long he waited for fog to set in, how he experienced the silence of a forest, or why he chose a single branch to make a statement.

“His work evokes a silent conversation between himself and the viewer that is rare,” she added.

Francis’ work has been shown in a number of galleries and venues in northern California including several shows at Sacramento’s leading photography gallery, ViewPoint. He will have another show there in April.

LeeAnn Brook Fine Art is located at 300 Spring St. in downtown Nevada City. For more information visit http://www.leeannbrookfineart.com