One of the most remarkable features of life on the Outer Banks is how dynamic the arts scene is here, and these are truly world class artists. For proof of that, look no farther than Eve Turek, photographer and owner, with her husband Pete, of the Yellow House Gallery in Nags Head.
A few months ago, Eve took home the gold medal for her photo Meditation at the first annual World Photography Cup held in Phoenix, AZ.
This is a huge, big deal. There were 22 nations represented with three entries in each category, meaning Eve’s photo was the best of 66 entries that were already judged the best in their countries. The judging was blind, meaning no country of origin was indicated, the photographer was not named, and there were no titles on the pieces. The judges considered only what they saw before them.
Eve had no knowledge that Meditations was even under consideration. She had entered the piece in a regional show and knew it had been selected as a photo of merit, but after that, because of an email snafu, she lost track of what was happening. The story came out when she received a phone call from someone affiliated with the World Photography Cup who inquired if she knew she was winning the gold medal.
Eve, who has a great sense of humor, remarked to me that if they had just stopped after it got to international consideration, she would have been thrilled, but hearing the process had finally brought her to the finals podium brought out the response, “I think I better sit down now.”
The story began in January of 2013 when Eve and a group of photographers gathered before dawn and drove to Lake Mattamuskeet hoping to create images from the rising sun. She went there expecting a sunrise filled with color and light, but as dawn broke, heavy fog covered everything.
Then in a moment that is very much in keeping with Eve’s belief that the best photographs are a part of a process that is a gift received, the fog began to lift. “In time, the fog and the trees invited me to be present with what is,” she recalls. “It was very quiet, still and serene. There’s a quiet that is visual. A quiet that is auditory too. All of that comes through in this one image.”
The walls of her shop are filled with her photographs of wildlife and the outdoors. As she describes them, one understands Eve’s genuine belief that these images are a gift to her from the subject. “You have to be alert and aware,” she says. “It’s much more about asking, ‘May I please take your picture? What part of your life are you willing to share with me?’ ”
Many visitors to the Outer Banks know the Yellow House Gallery as the wooden frame house located on the Beach Road in Nags Head. However, the location has changed, and the property the Yellow House occupied is now listed for sale. Their new location is in the Croatan Center in Nags Head across from the Outer Banks Hospital.