The late and beloved Bill Carter, longtime organist of the Everett Theatre, has photos featured in the Gilbert W. Perry Jr., Center for the Arts' new ongoing “Rite of Spring” exhibit, which ends March 30.
Rite of Spring is a juried exhibition that will also include fine art from sculpture Tipvemon Haertter, of Middletown, painter Carole Huber, of Newark, and contemporary Styrofoam sculptures from Don Cagle, of Dover. In addition, gardening workshops will be hosted by master gardener and local Home Depot employee Ginny Seufert (this Saturday and next Saturday).
'He loved the Gibby'
A special section of Rite of Spring has been dedicated to Carter's flower photography, of which most were taken at his favorite place to shoot: Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa.
Carter, who lost a valiant decade-long bout to cancer in 2011, was an organist at The Everett who performed before movies and at special events, from the late 1990s until about 2010.
Despite being an iconic figure at The Everett, and a huge fan of The Gibby, Rite of Spring is the first exhibit to feature any of Carter's photographs in Middletown.
"He loved the Gibby Center and for his work to be displayed there would mean so much to him," said Carter's widower Terri Swadey, 54, of Wilmington.
Even during his last dying months, Carter remained dedicated to manning the organ at The Everett and catching art shows at The Gibby. He'd brave the commute from Wilmington to Middletown.
"I have to be honest, I'd say 'it's so far honey.' But he was insistent," Swadey said.
Prior to Rite of Spring, Carter's work was never exhibited in Middletown since he was modest and never desired the limelight, Swadey said. But he loved to give photos of his work to friends.
Had it not been for Swadey and friends of Carter asking The Gibby to feature his work — there's a good chance many people in town wouldn't have the opportunity to view it.
"This is something that was very important to him," Swadey said. "I'm so grateful to the Gibby Center."
IF YOU GO
WHAT Rite of Spring art exhibit
WHEN Exhibit ends Saturday, March 30; hours are 12-5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays; (gardening workshops will be held 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on both Saturday, March 16 and Saturday, March 23)
WHERE Gilbert W. Perry Jr. Center for the Arts, 51 W. Main St., Middletown