Donn Young
Four Photographic Essays

Opening Reception: Sunday, June 24, 2012    2-5pm

Exhibition dates: June 24 - September 30, 2012
Gallery hours: M-F 10-6, S 10-2
The Framer's Corner, 210 West Main St, Carrboro, NC 27510  919.929.3166


“At the heart of his work, Donn is an essayist; he examines the human condition by presenting 
the situations in which people live, with deep respect for the subjects.”
 ......Katie Bowler, artsee magazine 

Donn Young is 40-year veteran of the photography business and the executive director of 40 Days and 40 Nights, a 501(c)(3) education nonprofit committed to increasing awareness of the human condition through the collaborative work of researchers, practitioners, and artists.  

Hurricane Katrina ravaged the studio of Donn Young Photography. For nearly 4 1/2 weeks the library of art created in 35 years of work, well over 1,350,000 images, sat beneath 10 feet of water.  The Archive, Records, Managers and Administrators Association and Louisiana State University Hill Memorial Library Special Collections have deemed the work "historically significant".  There is a mandate from both organizations for the salvaging and restoration of the files that document of our generation's life. In July of 2007, the Louisiana State Archives established the Donn Young Collection, a reference of images for future generations to study.  Donn Young is the only living photographer of his generation to be so honored. 

As an assignment photographer his work has appeared in over 100 national, state and local publications including Time, Newsweek, USA Today, The New York Times and The Washington Post. His work has been exhibited in 35 museum and gallery exhibitions.  He has received numerous honors including "Photographer of the Year" 1978 - New England Press Association, "Photographer of the Year 1986, New Orleans Advertising Association", "Photographer of the Year" 1992 - New Orleans Press Club,  "Best Editorial Photography" 1996 - Louisiana Press Association, "Gold Award" 1993 - Art Director and Designers Association, "Gold medal" - 2006 CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education) the national competition of college and university magazines, "Gold Award" League of American Communication Professionals 2006. During August of 2011, Donn was invited as a delegate to the “Saudi ARAMCO Cultural Program 2011” Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Presenting three workshops on the “Art of Story Telling” using photography essays; the forum conceived by the US State Department bridging nations through a cultural exchange of art. In November of 2011 Donn was honored with selection of his work by The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities as one of 275 artists representing the 200 year history of Louisiana.  

In August 2008 he completed a 3-year photo essay documenting the effects of Hurricane Katrina upon civilization for the Louisiana State Archives.  The exhibition 40 Days and 40 Nights was is the largest and most well attended exhibition in the history of the Louisiana State Archives. His work is exhibited worldwide and was recently included in Visions of New Orleans at the Ministry of Culture, Saint-Honore, in Paris. His work is found in the public and private collections of Louisiana State University Hill Memorial Library Special Collections, the Goldring Family Foundation, the Lamar Family Foundation, the Thomas Coleman Family Foundation, the Louisiana State Museum and the Historic New Orleans Collection. 

Currently, Donn’s work is on permanent exhibition: 40 Days and 40 Nights at the UNC-Chapel Hill Center for the Study of Natural Hazards and Disasters; a retrospective of four essays (State StreetThe Hunger Project - A Portrait of Hunger in North Carolina,40 Days and 40 Nights and Living Legends of Jazz) at The Depot at Hillsborough Station, 40 Days and 40 Nights opens at the The International Civil Rights Center & Museum, the F.W. Wooworth building, Greensboro, NC 27401 on June 23, 2012.


40 Days and 40 Nights Exhibit

Donn Young: Living Legends, Percy Humphrey

Living Legends, Percy Humphrey

Assignment 1993: Create an image of the jazz trumpet player on location. Starting in the early 1960s Mr Humphrey played at Preservation Hall where he commented on his style of playing, “I don't play too loud. The good Lord gave me this lip and I intend to look after it,” Humphrey said.

Donn Young: Marcel Marceau

Marcel Marceau

Assignment: Create an image of the mime as an illustration for story of his 1978 U.S. tour.

The Valley Advocate Newspaper, Amherst, Massachusetts first published the article and art.

Donn Young: The Hunger Project, Lila & Natalie

The Hunger Project, Lila & Natalie

Assignment: Document the North Carolina food distribution network. Lil and Natialie travel 3 hours each trip to and from their home to Catholic Parish Outreach, Raleigh, North Carolina

The Hunger Project seeks to create a accurate picture of hunger in the state by documenting and evaluating the prevalence of hunger and food insecurity. The Hunger Project began in 2005 with funding from the UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity.