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Worthwhile exhibit showcases local photos

Longtime Tribune Chronicle entertainment writer Andy Gray was humble when I oozed praise on him recently about the amazing art show he curated at Trumbull Art Gallery.

“Well, it helps to have talented friends,” he said of the concert photography exhibition showcasing more than a hundred incredible images of superstars and local performers. They were shot by photographers including local photojournalists R. Michael Semple, our co-worker at the Tribune Chronicle, and William D. Lewis of the Vindicator, along with Warren native Bob Jadloski, among others.

The exhibit, titled “First Three Songs, No Flash: From Hometown Heroes to Hall of Famers” refers to the rules that photographers are expected to follow when they shoot big musical acts like Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and Tom Petty.

In fact, photos of each of those performers and many more are included in the Trumbull Art Gallery, or TAG, exhibit at 158 N. Park Ave. on Warren’s Courthouse Square.

Other images include Tony Bennett, Jerry Douglas, John Mellencamp, B.B. King, Rod Stewart, KISS, Van Morrison, Elton John and Alice Cooper — just to name a few.

Local favorites include intimate black and white photos taken by area native Daniel Montecalvo depicting Michael Stanley Band during the group’s 1980s height inside Beachwood studios. Another Michael Stanley Band image was taken Feb. 2, 1981, on the California set of The Merv Griffin Show.

And of course, the Warren exhibit wouldn’t be complete without images of local native Dave Grohl, frontman for the Foo Fighters.

Semple’s images show Grohl attending the 2009 unveiling of the gritty “David Grohl Alley” that stretches between Main Avenue SW and South Park Avenue just south of Warren’s Courthouse Square. One photo depicts Grohl chugging from a bottle of champagne as locals gather around eagerly snapping their own photos.

Images of Grohl were crucial to the collection because he was part of the impetus behind the creation of the entire exhibition.

You see, the idea for the exhibit was hatched by Gray, guest curator, and Jadloski last September as they drove home from a concert in Burgettstown, Pa. Gray says it came in combination of Jadloski’s desire to show off some of the concert photos he’s shot over five decades and Gray’s desire to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the dedication of David Grohl Alley.

Some of the Grohl photos are to be donated for permanent display in David Grohl Alley after the exhibition closes.

(Sadly, another print of Grohl holding the key to the city of Warren was damaged when a storm blew through the area Aug. 7 shattering the gallery’s front window.)

The broken window has since been replaced, and it doesn’t seem to have dampened the enthusiasm for the exhibit.

In fact, TAG Executive Director Pat Galgozy said the response to this show has been overwhelming — possibly bringing in the biggest crowds the gallery has experienced. Among the visitors were two of Grohl’s relatives, who still reside in Trumbull County.

Galgozy pointed out one of her favorites, a moment captured by Lewis in which world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma exuberantly celebrates an opening performance before Ma took the stage at Warren Community Amphitheatre last August.

The exhibition also includes amazing work of photographers John Patrick Gatta and Erika Rock, both Trumbull County natives, along with Chara Politte and Geneva Anderson, house photographers for the Covelli Centre and JAC Live, and Eric Broz, who frequently chronicles Mahoning Valley entertainment.

In all, nearly 150 photos fill TAG’s main gallery and its downstairs exhibition space, which now is handicap-accessible with the recent addition of a lift.

The whole project was made possible with a generous donation from Warren-based Covelli Enterprises.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to check out the exhibit, don’t delay.

It runs only until Saturday. The gallery is open noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

blinert@tribtoday.com

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