Bravo! Jay Stock

Another well-deserved honor is being accorded to master photographer Jay Stock of Martins Ferry.

Stock, who is still working in his 90s, has been chosen to receive the Artistry in Photography Award from the Maine Professional Photographers Association. Russell R. Caron, president of the organization, said the award will be presented at the 65th annual Maine Photographic Exposition and Convention in Brunswick, Maine, in March.

Officials of the group said association members LeeAnn LaFleur and Barbara Tobey requested the award of recognition for Stock “in tribute to the advancement of fine art photographic prints.” They told Stock that they approached the association’s board of directors with a request “that an award be approved and presented in recognition of your lifetime endeavor to elevate photography to its highest level.”

LaFleur and Tobey, who present the Journey workshop, said Stock passed his Maine workshop onto them in 2006. They explained, “We tagged our Journey workshop ‘where inspiration and opportunity meet’ because we realized Jay had given us boundless inspiration and ample opportunities during his workshops and we wanted to do the same for ours.”

The current workshop leaders reflected, “Jay Stock has inspired many, many photographers during his lifetime.

Through his workshops he created a platform where photographers could come together to learn and share their knowledge and love of photography, to give inspiration to each other and to practice what was taught to them through shoots. The camaraderie shared at his workshops created lifelong friendships, many who still keep in touch to this day.”

They recalled, “Jay’s majestic infrared landscapes, his soft, pastel impressionistic images, his documentary work of different cultures, the essence of capturing the dance in his Degas-style portraits, the beauty of the lighting traveling through his studies of black and white nudes, and so much more touched a chord in all who studied with him and viewed his images.”

On a personal note, LaFleur and Tobey commented, “Jay has taught us life lessons … Jay has touched the lives of many, many people across this country and around the world. Those of us who know him, know how blessed we are to have him in our lives.”

They told Stock, “You never cease to amaze us with your knowledge of photography, your sharing nature and your drive as you continue to pursue your personal photographic projects.”

To which, we add: Bravo, Jay Stock! You’ve earned this recognition and all of the many awards that have been presented to you over the years. Well done!

Author and former Bethany College faculty member Wiley Cash’s second novel, “This Dark Road to Mercy,” has been published by William Morrow & Co. Released in January, the novel is already generating critical praise and bringing additional media attention to Cash.

Cash, who spent four years as an assistant professor of English at Bethany, was interviewed by Rachel Martin on National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition” show last Sunday, Feb. 2. In that interview, Cash told Martin about the book’s narrators and why he chose to set it during Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa’s 1998 home run battle.

“This Dark Road to Mercy” has been described as “a tale of love and atonement, blood and vengeance, a story that involves two young sisters, a wayward father and an enemy determined to see him pay for his sins.”

Press materials circulated by William Morrow have stated, “The combination of Cash’s evocative and intimate Southern voice and those of the alternating narrators, Easter, Brady, and Pruitt, brings this soulful story vividly to life. At once captivating and heartbreaking, ‘This Dark Road to Mercy’ is a testament to the unbreakable bonds of family and the primal desire to outrun a past that refuses to let go.”

Cash was on the Bethany faculty when his first novel, “A Land More Kind Than Home,” was published by William Morrow in April 2012. Cash’s debut work attracted international attention and received considerable praise from critics, readers and booksellers.

A month after his first book was issued, Cash left teaching to concentrate on writing and moved from Bethany to Morgantown, where his wife was working as an attorney. In the “Weekend Edition” interview, Cash said he and his wife moved back to Wilmington, N.C., in November.

Both novels are set in the author’s native North Carolina.

Cash appeared as a guest for a Lunch With Books program at the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling in May 2012. In that presentation, he talked about “A Land More Kind Than Home” and shared details of his work in progress, the novel that became “This Dark Road to Mercy.”

Linda Comins can be reached via email at: