Acclaimed street photographer Jon Luvelli has established a collection of his works within the State Historical Society of Missouri’s permanent art collection. Luvelli’s fine art photography has garnered worldwide attention for its distinguished images of Midwestern townscapes.
The first installment of photographs is currently on display at the State Historical Society’s Columbia art gallery on the ground floor of Ellis Library.
A native of Como, Italy, Luvelli was raised in a rural farm town near Columbia, Missouri. According to Joan Stack, SHSMO’s curator of art collections, his work casts an aesthetic spotlight on contemporary life in the rural routes and small-town streets of the Show-Me State.
“Luvelli avoids stereotypical visions of country life in favor of black-and-white works picturing people and places most individuals overlook or sometimes choose to ignore,” Stack said. “By allowing spectators to view twenty-first-century central Missouri through an artist’s eye, Luvelli helps us better understand the state and its people.”
In an August 7, 2016, review of Luvelli’s Unseen Columbia exhibition at the Boone County Historical Society, Aarik Danielsen, Columbia Daily Tribune arts and entertainment editor, wrote that Luvelli captures Columbia’s collective history through his focus on the unnoticed.
“All are equal in Luvelli’s viewfinder,” Danielsen wrote. “The children and aged, the black and white, the police and the passed-out in the street. The photographer forces us to reckon with economic realities we would do anything not to see.”
Also on exhibit . . .
Being Bussabarger: Ceramics, Paintings, Sketchbooks, and More
October 31, 2017 - May 5, 2018 | Main Gallery, Columbia Research Center
Painter, sculptor, and ceramicist Robert Bussabarger (1922–2013) lived and worked in Missouri for over fifty years. Being Bussabarger pays tribute to the artist's creative spirit with a retrospective selection of his artworks from the 1950s to the 2010s. The wide range of media within the Society's collection of Bussabarger's art demonstrates the depth and breadth of his talent. Additional Information: http://shsmo.org/art/exhibits/
Stack said Luvelli’s work also conveys social messages, never shying away from the complicated subjects of racism, poverty, sexuality, abuse, and addiction.
“Black-and-white photography suits these subjects,” Stack said. “The stark contrasts of light and dark call attention to a quotidian world in the shadows, and subtle variations of gray encourage us to find beauty in forms customarily viewed as unsightly.”
Luvelli’s work augments the State Historical Society of Missouri’s diverse art collection, which includes photographs of the American West by Edward Sheriff Curtis, Thomas Hart Benton’s Year of Peril World War II series, numerous paintings by George Caleb Bingham, and many other pieces illustrating Missouri’s regional and westward expansion history.
To view the special exhibition, visit the State Historical Society of Missouri’s Columbia center from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays.
About The State Historical Society of Missouri
Founded in 1898 and established as a trustee of the state a year later, SHSMO is the premier center for the study of Missouri state and local history. Through its education program, the Center for Missouri Studies, SHSMO collects, preserves, and publishes materials that enhance research and support learning opportunities in the study of the Midwest at six research centers around the state, with headquarters on the University of Missouri campus. Visit: shsmo.org
About Jon Luvelli
Jon Luvelli is a fine art documentarian (street photographer) whose artwork references emotions while conveying social messages. His calculated photographic style is easily distinguished by the romantically raw and macabre atmosphere in his pieces. His work has been commissioned by Universal, Warner Brothers, and Nike, among others. Visit: jonluvelli.com
Content for this post provided by The State Historical Society of Missouri [Website]
Images used with permission of The State Historical Society of Missouri.