Sept. 10 – Scattered across Norfolk County are distinct reminders of a once vibrant industry. In these buildings, green became gold in more ways than one.

 

It’s these tobacco kilns that inspired local photographer Larry Monczka. 

Monczka has gathered a selection of photographs from his book Tobacco Kilns of Norfolk County to be displayed at the Norfolk Arts Centre (NAC) from Sept. 14 until Oct. 26.  

 

“My interest in the kilns was purely visual at first,” Monczka explains.

Through his photographs, Monczka both captures the beauty of these gently decaying buildings while documenting the architectural artifacts of an earlier time and economy. 

The images are accompanied by poems courtesy Amber Homeniuk. While Monczka’s photographs have a sense of nostalgia, Homeniuk’s poetry recalls the dirty, backbreaking labour that was the reality of the tobacco industry.

 

“This exhibit is a tremendous nod to the history of Norfolk County,” said NAC curator Roberta Grosland. “You won’t find many people from around here that don’t have a connection to the tobacco industry. Not only are the pictures beautiful, but they also pair perfectly with words that capture the hard work that was done – and is still being done – on tobacco farms throughout the region.” 

 

Join Monczka and Homeniuk for the opening reception of Tobacco Kilns of Norfolk County at the Norfolk Arts Centre Sept. 14 from 2-4 p.m. Homeniuk will be reading a selection of poems and both she and Monczka will be available to sign copies of their book. 

 

For more, visit norfolkartscentre.ca or visit the NAC from Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 – 4 p.m.