Progress Staff Reports

Thursday, Feb. 1, marks the fourth anniversary of the day Space Shuttle Columbia disenigrated over East Texas upon its reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere, and special events in Nacogdoches and Longview have been planned.

The creation of a museum at the Columbia Regional Geospatial Service Center commemorating the Space Shuttle Columbia and its crew will begin with a reception for recovery workers and the East Texas residents who assisted them from 5 to 9 p.m., Feb. 1 in the Fredonia Hotel Rusk Room, 200 N. Fredonia St.

According to Dr. James Kroll, director of the center, the reunion is open to residents of any county along the recovery corridor and will serve two purposes.

“In addition to bringing together the citizens who assisted in the recovery effort, we want to start the process of collecting oral histories from them for the Columbia Memorial Museum, before the memories of the event become too dim,” Kroll said. “We’d like to hear from anyone who was a part of the recovery or who feels some emotional or physical tie to it.”

Kroll said the oral histories will be videotaped and eventually made available through a virtual museum on the center’s Web site.

The museum also is accepting donations or loans of space-related artifacts or memorabilia. Dr. Morris Jackson of Nacogdoches has donated his collection of memorabilia to the museum, which now includes a tire used on the Space Shuttle Atlantis, a NASA-created replica of a portion of the Columbia tailpiece, and a photograph taken from space during Columbia’s final mission.

Kroll plans to open the museum to the public in fall 2007, depending on the availability of funding.

For more information about the reception or museum, call (936) 468-6100.

In Longview, Remembering the Space Shuttle Columbia Exhibition opens with photographers Dr. Scott M. Lieberman, Tammy Cromer-Campbell, and O. Rufus Lovett. A artist reception will be held from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m., Feb. 1, and the exhibit runs through April 14, at TCC PHOTO GALLERY, 207 N. Center St, Longview.        

Feb. 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia fragmented over East Texas.  Lieberman and his family expected to take some snap shots and record the shuttle as it flew over their backyard.  Instead Dr. Lieberman’s images ended up being distributed via the Associated Press to newspapers and magazines around the world landing on most of their covers including Time magazine.  Cromer-Campbell was assigned later that day by the Houston Chronicle to cover the disaster and its emotional aftermath.

Lovett was assigned by Texas Monthly to photograph the debris and the media. This exhibition includes a series of Dr. Lieberman’s famous image of Columbia, Cromer-Campbell’s photographs and audio of the people who experienced the debris falling, and Lovett’s photographs of the debris and more.

Lieberman, a practicing Interventional Cardiologist with Cardiovascular Associates of East Texas, is originally from Brooklyn, NY.  He is avid photographer with a strong interest in photojournalism, and wildlife images.  His images appear in Bscene magazine, in his Outtakes column, and he is a regular contributor to the Tyler Morning Telegraph, and the Associated Press (AP).  In 2003, Scott had prints displayed as part of a group show From The Eye of a Doctor at the Perfect Exposure Gallery, in L.A.  He lives in Tyler with his wife Robyn, children Deandra and Mason, and his seven partners (who make it possible for him to have the time to make images).

Tammy Cromer-Campbell, completed her degree from Kilgore College under the direction of Lovett. She continued her education by attending workshops from Master photographers Ruth Bernhard, Arnold Newman, John Sexton and many others.  Cromer-Campbell’s first book Fruit of the Orchard/Environmental Justice in East Texas published by the University of North Texas Press was recently published. Her work has received many awards and honors including Blue Earth Alliances first ever cash grant.  This essay was featured in Photo District News, Camera Arts, Photo Techniques  and other publications. Her work is included in many collections including The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Museet for Fotocunst, Denmark, The Helmut Gernsheim Collection Mannheim, Germany and others. She photographs from her studio in downtown Longview and lives with her husband, Scott, also a photographer.

Lovett is a nationally acclaimed photographer whose work on the book Weeping Mary has received recognition from the prestigious Alfred Eisenstaedt Awards for Outstanding  Magazine Photography.  A Texas Monthly contributing photographer, he has also published in American Photo, Communication Arts and Graphis.  For three decades, Lovett has taught photography at Kilgore College in Kilgore.  In 2005, his work as a photography educator was honored by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation of San Antonio, which named him a Piper Professor. Lovett lives in Longview.

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