Inspired by her rural Virginia roots, Paige Crichter brings “Hinterland” exhibit to Diversity Richmond
The traveler has returned—for now at least. Fine art photographer/ former Richmonder Paige Crichter’s has brought her latest exhibition, “Hinterland,” to Diversity Richmond’s Iridian Gallery which will be on display until Feb. 24.
Crichter, who was a professor at Sweet Briar College from 1998 to 2015, has produced collections from her travels to various countries, but “Hinterland” is composed of images from around her home in rural Virginia.
“This body of work came out of a desire to look what was around in my own backyard—so I didn’t have to travel anywhere—and to look at it deeply and in a way that I hadn’t before,” Crichter said.
Through images such as landscapes, barbed wire fences and even an old abandoned shed that is being taken back by nature with trees and shrubs sprouting around it, Crichter explores human presence in nature.
“Hinterland”, which Critchter spent four years working on, was originally part of a self-published book by Crichter and it is now Iridian Gallery’s first full photograph-based exhibition.
Lora Beldon, a co-chair at Iridian Gallery, is a longtime friend of Crichter’s. When Beldon saw “Hinterland,” she submitted it to her peers for exhibition consideration.
“She’s such a world traveler, it’s surprising that we even got her,” Beldon said.
According to Beldon, the gallery had yet to have an exhibition that was solely photography.
“I was excited about that,” Beldon said. “And I’ve always loved her work.”
Beldon and Crichter first met during their time at VCU, where Crichter earned her MFA in 1991 where their passions for art helped to foster a friendship.
“I finally felt like I found my tribe,” Crichter said of her experience as a graduate student at VCU.
She had been working in a commercial studio before attending VCU on her quest to “figure out how to be an artist.” It was there she learned that she wanted to eventually teach too. In her time at Sweet Briar College, Crichter taught photography classes and served as Chair of the BFA program. Then in 2015 she combined education with travel to teach with Semester at Sea, a non-profit study abroad program in conjunction with Colorado State University.
Though she is a scholar, Crichter has turned her eye towards documentary style photography. “Hinterland” may explore her residential surroundings but the travels she has done in recent years has inspired her in new ways.
“I believe that good, informative documentary-style photography can really help point out some things that do need to be addressed in the world,” Crichter said. “Telling stories about what’s going on in the world is something I’m very interested in.”
“Hinterland” will be on display in Diversity Richmond’s Iridian Gallery until Feb. 24th.
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