SEARCY — It all started with a book of black-and-white photographs.
When Lynn Reinbolt was a young boy in Chicago, his mother worked at Time Life books and would bring home the copies with smudges that the company could not sell.
“One day, she came home with a book of beautiful black-and-white photos by Ansel Adams,” Reinbolt said. “And that’s what started it.”
The book — which Adams had signed — is still in Reinbolt’s possession. Ever since that book inspired young Reinbolt, he has been fascinated by landscape photography.
Reinbolt is now an award-winning photographer, and his work is on display in his first private show at the Searcy Art Gallery through May 24.
While photography is still just a hobby for Reinbolt — his “real” job is recycling old trailers to make new ones at Con-way Manufacturing in Searcy — his photography has been recognized as exceptional.
One of his photographs currently on display was shown as part of the Arkansas Arts Council’s 2013 Small Works on Paper exhibit. The show featured 37 pieces chosen from more than 300 submissions.
Reinbolt said his landscape photography marries his love of the outdoors with his fascination with Adams’ work. Reinbolt would go hiking with his children and take photos of what they saw. Then, one of his daughters encouraged him to post some of his work online. It was at that point others started noticing his work.
“I want it to be more than a snapshot — something more than a shot someone can take hanging out of a car window,” Reinbolt said. “You really have to work at getting the shot, and then sometimes it just pops.”
Sometimes that work may be a little dangerous, Reinbolt admitted — climbing on slippery rocks to get the right angle for the waterfall, or kayaking to the right spot while snakes bump the vessel — but he said it is worth it to find something beautiful.
All of the photos on display are from scenes Reinbolt found in White County. From trees peeking through the fog to bright sunset scenes, Reinbolt’s photographs capture images of the natural beauty found around the community.
The exhibit in the Searcy Art Gallery is not just to show his work. Reinbolt is selling his art, and all of the proceeds will go to the White County Relay for Life.
Reinbolt’s wife of 31 years is a breast-cancer survivor, and he said the decision to donate the proceeds was an easy one.
“It just makes sense to me. She’s my hero,” he said of his wife. “When I had the opportunity to do the show, I knew I had the chance to give back.”
Myra Shock, executive director of the Searcy Art Gallery, said it is unique for an artist to give all of the proceeds from a show to charity, and Reinbolt’s show has already done well.
“We’ve had a lot of gallery visitors and have sold several pieces,” she said.
The gallery is hosted at the Black House, 300 E. Race Ave. in Searcy. Shock said the Searcy Arts Council said it is a special place where visitors can see current artwork while walking through a historic house.
“We want people to see the Black House. We’re trying to get the word out about the gallery,” she said. “There’s beauty in here.”
The Searcy Art Gallery is open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.
Staff writer Angela Spencer can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or email@example.com.