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Out of a Clear Blue Sky:
Severe Weather Photography by Jeff Smith and A.T. Willett


OUT OF A CLEAR BLUE SKY : Severe Weather Photography by Jeff Smith and A.T. Willett

Dates: June 9th – September 1, 2007

Reception: Saturday, June 9th,  7 - 10 p.m.

Location: Etherton Gallery
135 S. Sixth Avenue

Hours: 11 - 5 Tuesday through Saturday, 11 - 7 Thursday

Contact: 624-7370 :: Daphne Srinivasa, Hannah Glasston, Terry Etherton

Etherton Gallery is pleased to announce our summer exhibition, Out of A Clear Blue Sky: Severe Weather Photographs, featuring the breathtaking work of storm-chasing adrenalin junkies, A.T. Willett and Jeff Smith.  For the past 25 years Smith and Willett have collaborated in the dangerous and thrilling pursuit of violent lightning storms, hurricanes and tornadoes -- as much for the visceral experience as capturing these awe-inspiring moments in their photographs. As Willett has said “There is always danger involved in storm chasing, you really have to understand the power of storms and understand how to take the shot and get back safely.” In the midst of the upcoming monsoon season, these photographs will have an astonishing yet familiar feel to Tucsonans.

Jeff Smith

Originally from Macon, Georgia, Jeff Smith has lived in Tucson since 1970. He earned an AA from Pima Community College in 1984, where he studied photography with Louis Carlos Bernal and Jeffrey Muir Hamilton, and also met A.T. Willett. His work was recently chosen by A.I.R. Gallery to document performance artist Kate Long Hodges’ work for the A.I.R. 7th Biennial. Smith’s work has been published in several publications including, “Predicting the Monsoon” published in the University of Arizona Report on Research, the magazine Terre Sauvage  and “A Bolt Out of the Blue” in Discovery featuring the photograph I-10 (1988), also in this exhibition.  He has traveled all over the world on photographic assignments and storm chasing, including Argentina, Australia and throughout the Southwestern United States. Smith photographed the Timberland national ad campaign and has also won several Addy awards for his commercial work in Tucson. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions including the All Souls Procession Photo Exhibition, GLOW and the Hot Shoe Salon. Smith has owned a commercial studio for the past 17 years and is also a contract photographer for photo stock agency Alamy.com.


A.T. Willett

A.T. “Tom” Willet has been a Tucson resident since 1971, when his family left Bloomington, Indiana. He attended Pima Community College where he studied photography with Luis Carlos Bernal and Jeffrey Muir Hamilton, and also met Jeff Smith. He also attended the University of Arizona and briefly studied film at NYU. Willett began his career at the Tucson Citizen and went on to become the youngest photographer on contract to Imagebank, which at the time was the leading photo stock agency in the United States. His advertising work includes the 1997 national Omega watch campaign. Willett’s work has been popular in Europe, including a book cover for Harriet Lerner’s Pouvoir Créateur de la Colère and posters in Switzerland and France. In 2000 the Royal Mail Society chose one of his lightning photographs, “Lightning, Titan Missile Site, Marana Arizona” for a British postage stamp.  In 2004 his work was chosen for the cover of the Weather Channel Calendar. He has worked as a contract photographer at Alamy.com and web site designer in recent years. Willett’s work is in the University of Arizona Special Collections.


Represented in Tucson by Etherton Gallery, these artists are available for interviews upon request.  Please contact the gallery at info@ethertongallery.com to schedule an interview or for more information about the artists or their work.


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