November 2012


Santa Mug

Artist’s Statement

Christmas is a family and community event at Hickory Nut Gap Farm, in Fairview, North Carolina. The “Big House”, formerly Sherrill’s Inn on the old Drover’s Road, and since 1916 the McClure/Clarke family home, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This photograph is one of thousands made of the home, farm, and family for a document by Ken Abbott, called Useful Work: Photographs of Hickory Nut Gap Farm, which will be published in early 2014, by GFT Books. The book will include approximately 90 color photographs as well as an essay by the photographer, an accompanying historical essay, and archival photographs of the house and family representing their important role in the agricultural and social history of Western North Carolina.


Ken Abbott is a photographer from Asheville, North Carolina. Current projects include documenting the buildings and businesses on the site purchased by New Belgium Brewing, Inc., for a new brewery in Asheville’s River District; documenting conservation lands; and photographing towns, landscapes, and people within regions facing heavy impacts from energy resource extraction, including coal mining and gas hydro-fracturing operations. Abbott uses conventional photographic means as well as a system for making low-elevation aerial photographs using a tethered, helium-filled kite/balloon, to lift a high-resolution digital camera to capture views from up to 500 foot elevations. Ken Abbott has a MFA in photography from Yale University School of Art.