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Artist Talk with Melissa Farlow and Randy Olson: Duality

Artist Talk with Melissa Farlow and Randy Olson: Duality

Artist Talk with Melissa Farlow and Randy Olson
Friday, September  7th, 2018 @ 7pm
Free and Open to the Public


Husband and wife photographer team Melissa Farlow and Randy Olson bring their stories and their art to Columbia Arts as part of the September Gallery exhibition titled “Duality.” Farlow and Olson are photojournalists in the documentary tradition. Even though they are published in LIFE, GEO, Smithsonian and other magazines, they have primarily photographed for the National Geographic Society on over 50 assignments that have taken them to 50 countries over the past 20 years.


The couple normally works individually, but recently collaborated on an exhibition on display at Columbia Arts in September. The show is a pairing of their individual works from various assignments. As Melissa states, “Randy I paired photographs that were shot on different assignments—many for National Geographic —over the past 25 years. The images took on different meaning when they were paired and sequenced together than they had originally meant—when you consider their intent within a story. Some pairs are opposites. Other comparisons are similar. Some create a visual pun. Having this third effect was a surprise since neither of us particularly photograph with humor.”

Olson and Farlow will share stories about the assignments that lead to the images on displays, and will talk about their experiences traveling and photographing around the world.

Olson’s 29 National Geographic Magazine projects have taken him to many countries in Africa, the Siberian Arctic, Iraq, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Iceland, Newfoundland, Guyana, American Samoa, Turkey, Republic of Georgia, Spain, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Australia, Japan, Kamchatka, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Indonesia, Russia, China, and the South Pacific.

National Geographic published a book of his work in their “Masters of Photography” series in January 2011. Olson was the Magazine Photographer of the Year in the Pictures of the Year International (POYi) competition and was also awarded POYi’s Newspaper Photographer of the Year.

Farlow has worked extensively in the American West for National Geographic —driving 20,000 miles for a magazine story and book on public lands—and more recently, documenting mustang herds. Another driving trip took her through South America to chronicle life along the Pan American highway for a National Geographic book titled “The Long Road South.” Other National Geographic Magazine stories of hers feature varied subjects—culture and climate change in the Alps and West Virginia’s mountaintop removal mining. Themes of land and people are chronicled in Alaska’s Tongass Forest, Okefenokee Swamp, Hudson Valley, Meadowlands, National Road, Kentucky Horse Country, Invasive Species, and a photo-biography of landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted.

This talk and show is generously sponsored by The Ford Family Foundation.





  • September 7, 2018
    7:00pm - 8:00pm



Venue Phone: 541-387-8877

Venue Website:

215 Cascade Avenue, PO Box 1543, Hood River, Oregon, 97031, United States

Columbia Center for the Arts (CCA) is located in downtown Hood River, Oregon in the heart of the spectacular Columbia River Gorge. This thriving art center increases and enhances the opportunities for artists and residents of the greater Columbia River Gorge community to participate in arts education and the literary, performing, and visual arts.

  • September 7, 2018
    7:00pm - 8:00pm