Beautiful Ocracoke

Press Release
Beautiful Ocracoke

Local photographer's work to be featured at Art Opening.

Down Creek Gallery will be hosting its last art opening for the 2015 “Expose Yourself to Art” series on November the 25th from 5pm-8pm. Down Creek will be showcasing local photographer Melinda Fodrie Sutton, as well as featuring musical guests Raygun Ruby. There'll be refreshments, too!

The gallery will be highlighting new photographic works of Melinda Fodrie Sutton, who was first featured at Down Creek in the fall of last year. She and her husband Allen Sutton also own Tradewinds Tackle here on Ocracoke Island. Melinda began exploring her passion with photography several years ago, and has now been featured at Down Creek Gallery, as well as several Ocracoke business and restaurants, and in Charleston, South Carolina and Chicago, Illinois. Her beautiful images of the island and surrounding area are extremely vivid in color and rich in oceanic subject matter. Sutton strives to “bring the ocean inside.”

Landscape, nature and architectural design capture Sutton’s interest. Two winters ago, her almost daily photographs of Ocracoke’s visiting arctic snowy owls posted on Facebook were stunning and shared widely. She and her sister, Diane Fodrie Stankiewicz, a graphic artist living in Charleston, roamed the island winter beach for two months just to capture this uncharacteristic visitation, creating an impressive portfolio of the photogenic owls. This also sparked a desire between the two sisters to continue with their collaboration and led them to share summertime urban photographic opportunities in Chicago and Charleston.

“I love walking and taking pictures, I see the world differently.”  So began her therapeutic “walk-about” period, 10,000 steps a day with her i-Phone camera in her pocket. Soon she had two more cameras ready for action.

Photo sharing on Facebook led to lots of support and enthusiastic feedback from friends “liking” this new direction. Her composition, vivid color, clarity and story telling within the photos were eye catching and compelling. Encouraged by islanders, she donated a photo to last years Firemen’s Ball auction and was surprised at how much money was bid. Encouraged to pursue photography more seriously, she enrolled in a four-week class in landscape photography at the University of South Carolina in Charleston.

With the emergence of social networking and digital photography, picture taking became much different from the world of film she knew. Melinda announced “I did a series of beach photos recently and had over 400 shots when I was done.” During the film era, “I would use one roll of film, maybe 24 shots, and have only one worth keeping.” The instant gratification, ease of production and editing tools has changed the world of photography and in this case, Melinda’s life.

Sutton mentions that; “there are many things I want to do creatively, and I want to travel and see other countries and cultures.”  She is thoroughly enjoying working on her second gallery opening in November, continuing on her artistic journey via photographic processes and mediums.

Beautiful Ocracoke

See more of Melinda's photos in this feature article from July 2014.            




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