GALLIPOLIS — Mary Lee Marchi’s “Gallipolis Pictures” will be on display between 6-8 p.m. Friday at Evans Wealth Management on Second Avenue.
Marchi, of Gallipolis, also serves as director of the Gallia County Historical Society. This will be her fourth annual show at the venue. Admission is free. There will be refreshments and a silent auction for specific art pieces should individuals take interest.
Marchi started Gallipolis Pictures as a Facebook group. She has just shy of 12,000 subscribers and displays photography of southeast Ohio landscapes and landmarks. According to Marchi, it is not uncommon for her to see hundreds of likes in a week. She has even had correspondence with residents in Greece expressing interest in her work and asking where Gallia County is located in relation with the rest of the world.
“My husband passed away four years ago,” Marchi said. “I’m not a crier, but I caught myself crying and I caught myself lying to everyone. They would ask how I was doing and I would say I was fine, but I wasn’t doing good. So, I thought I had to do something. I’d always been interested in photography. So I thought I would start a Facebook page. I put a few pictures on. I started with just a few things of my family and did a (photo) in the park. (The page) just grew and grew and grew until I got 12,000 (subscribers).”
Marchi says she prefers to keep things simple when taking shots of Gallipolis or the Ohio River. She says she just likes to “point and shoot” most days. She says she commonly uses a Canon camera and enjoys that they are simple for her to use.
Despite taking photos daily and trying to put two pictures on her Facebook page each week, she says she enjoys the editing of photographs more than the actual taking of them. She says she has digitally edited things like power lines out of her photos and will often play with the color of a photograph to emphasize the shade of a particular scene. Fog displays are one of her favorite images to capture.
Marchi said it is not uncommon for her to take photos from inside her vehicle. Marchi does her photography for the love of the activity and has said that anyone can do what she does. Regardless, her work has proven to be popular with locals. She said she expected her family and a few friends to attend her first art show and was surprised by what she felt was a packed turnout.
Marchi commonly lists historical facts next to her photos on her Facebook page. She also said some of her photos have reached as many as just shy of 50,000 people for a single shot.
“(Photography) has been my therapy,” Marchi said. “It’s been blooming and it’s made me happy.”
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.