ATHOL — When local award-winning photographer Mitchell R. Grosky traveled to Africa in the summer of 2016, he said he saw the “most amazing and photogenic animals,” and “magical landscapes.”

Athol Public Library and Grosky, the library’s featured artist of the month, will share his photos throughout May as his collection of 30 museum-quality photographic canvases will be on display.

A retired teacher and principal in Athol-Royalston schools, Grosky will present his collection “Journey to Africa,” which is based on his 17-day trip to Kenya and Tanzania, during an artist’s reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22, in the conference room of the library at 568 Main St. Light refreshments will be served and visitors will have an opportunity to meet and talk with Grosky.

Of his time in Africa, Grosky said, “We journeyed to Africa on safari, in search of wild and exotic animals that are the stuff of dreams and legends and literature. We found there — on a continent so far away — not only the most amazing and photogenic animals, but also magical landscapes, vast and hauntingly beautiful, and a people — the people of Africa — who were unfailingly warm and kind, courageous and hopeful.”

In 10 game drives throughout Tanzania and Kenya, in areas with unusual and colorful names like Ngorongoro, Serengeti, and Maasai Mara, Grosky said they saw lions, leopards, elephants, Cape buffalos, black rhinoceroses and scores of other impressive animals.

“Yet, our visits to an African school, a Tanzanian market, a cultural heritage center, the Oldupai Gorge, a Maasai Village, an animal orphanage, a women’s self-help project, all of these helped us to understand and appreciate the African people,” he said. “As a photographer, I felt privileged to take nearly 12,000 photographs in Africa — many of awe-inspiring animals, but some photos, as well, of the amazing people of Africa, their lives and their joys and their smiles; their green and golden landscapes, their solitary acacia trees and colossal baobab trees standing strikingly against a brilliant pink or orange sky as the sun set.”

Grosky’s work as a travel photographer focuses on the features that make an area special and unique to its citizens and visitors. In Tanzania and Kenya, that means photographs of not only incredible animals, but also phenomenal landscapes and fascinating portraits of its people.

Grosky’s photographs are known for their vibrant, highly-saturated, bold colors, their attention to fine detail and their focus on the intricate patterns and textures that are found in both the natural and man-made worlds. His photography often draws praise for his use of various shades and colors of light and his nearly three-dimensional use of texture.

Grosky’s photographs have been featured on a wide variety of photographic or travel websites in the United States and in Europe. His work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, in local exhibitions and in art and craft fairs throughout the area.

Grosky said his trip to Africa was both incredible and breathtaking — perhaps the most extraordinary journey that he and his wife have ever experienced. He said it has changed him and his attitude toward the world “in ways as numerous as the great masses of wildebeest in their yearly migration.”

His time in Africa, he notes, “lingers beautifully in our hearts and minds, even as it continues to touch our souls.”

In addition, the artist’s recently published calendar, a collaboration with Smith-Edwards-Dunlap Graphic Arts in Philadelphia, Pa., will be a gift to all attendees of the reception. The artwork will also be available for viewing in May during regular library hours.


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