Bill Luster: Photographic Memories

March 2 – May 31, 2011

The Paul Paletti Gallery is pleased to announce a retrospective exhibition of the works of local photojournalist, Bill Luster. This exhibition marks the Gallery’s first show devoted to a living local artist. In 2010, the National Press Photographers Association honored Luster with the Joseph Sprague Award, the highest honor in documentary photography for lifetime achievement. We are delighted to exhibit this acclaimed body of work from such a distinguished photographer.

Bill Luster began his career as a newspaper photojournalist in 1965, when he joined the staff of The Glasgow Daily Times, his hometown newspaper. Four years later, Luster moved to Louisville where he started working for The Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times, eventually serving as Director of Photography, photo editor, and chief photographer. Spanning more than five decades, Luster’s photographic pursuits have meant covering local news issues, exclusively meeting and photographing a number of US presidents, and travel and landscape photography all over the world. Luster has covered 45 Kentucky Derbies, four political conventions, four inaugurations, and was an official photographer for the inauguration of President George H.W. Bush. In addition, he has enjoyed exclusive access to four United States Presidents: Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Two photo essays in The National Geographic add to his extremely accomplished collection as well as other photos that can be found in Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Life, and the New York Times Magazine.

Luster’s photographs exhibit an unfailing artistry of design and composition, coupled with humanity and a deep sense of history. Whether working in color or black and white, his photographs distill the essence of the place, the event, and the emotions of his subjects with high drama and perfect timing. He is the quintessential photojournalist.

Born in 1944 in Glasgow, Kentucky, Bill Luster has been the recipient of many awards and honors for his photography. Preceding the Joseph Sprague award, which he received in July of 2010, Luster was awarded the title of Sports Photographer of the Year from the Kentucky News Photographers Association at Western Kentucky University, which had previously named him Visual Journalist of the Year in 2000. Also in 2000, the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) awarded Luster the Joseph Costa Award for Innovative Leadership. Luster also received the Clarion Award for Environmental Reporting for work produced in Europe in 1984. He has two Pulitzer Prizes to his name, both of which he earned alongside members of The Courier-Journal’s staff under the leadership of C. Thomas Hardin. The first, awarded in 1976, was for Feature Photography for their coverage of the chaos around Louisville during court-ordered busing in 1975. The second was awarded to the news department including and the photography staff in 1989 for Local Reporting for their coverage of the nation’s worst drunk-driving accident, which occurred in nearby Carrollton, KY. Bill Luster currently lives in Louisville, KY, with his wife of thirty-three years, Linda, and their dog, Charlie. Their son Joseph lives in Hoboken, New Jersey and is a freelance writer.

A portion of all proceeds from print sales from this exhibition will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

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