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UNA Alumnus, World-Renowned NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Photographer Nichols Brings Lecture, Exhibit to Shoals
Oct. 8, 2013



Nick NicholsBy Hannah Mask, Student Writer

FLORENCE, Ala. — University of North Alabama alumnus Michael “Nick” Nichols – award-winning editor-at-large of National Geographic magazine – will return to campus this month to give a public presentation in Norton Auditorium. His photography will also be displayed in downtown Florence through Nov. 1.

At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, Nichols will discuss his latest book, Earth to Sky: Among Africa’s Elephants, A Species in Crisis. His talk, “An Evening with Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols: Lions, Elephants & Giants – Trials, Tragedies, Triumphs,” will be accompanied by a slide show of the book’s featured photography. Immediately after the talk, Nichols will be available for book signings in the lobby of Norton Auditorium.

“The bond between Southern artists may be described as the longing one feels to return to our roots,” says Nichols’ longtime friend and fellow photographer Shannon Wells. “We were shaped from a culture heavily immersed in social change, zealous with passions. The recipe was our religious, political and family values.

“Nick and his beautiful Reba were born here, raised here,” added Wells, UNA’s official photographer. “If Nick was a Southern cocktail, you would add all those ingredients with a little green organic kiwi juice and stir. Then sit back for a mind-blowing experience.”

Between now and his return to the Shoals, Nichols’ photo series, The Short Happy Life of a Serengeti Lion, will be displayed in Court Street Market – located at 218 N. Court St. in downtown Florence – from Thursday, Oct. 10, through Friday, Nov. 1.

Market owner Carmen Erdman said the exhibit – which was provided to UNA and the Shoals by LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville, Virginia – is free and open to the public. In addition to his appearance at Norton, Nichols will greet the public and sign books at the Market from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19.

“The Court Street Market concept is to connect our local food network directly to the community,” Erdman said, “food being not only what we cook and eat but also visual art, as well as the music heritage and history in this area.”

Nichols started working at National Geographic in 1996 as a photographer. He has published seven books, including Brutal Kinship, which he co-authored with Jane Goodall. Nichols has won four World Press Photo Awards and has been named Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

The UNA Distinguished Events Series will continue its 2013-14 season on Saturday, Feb. 15, with the Grammy Award-winning performance group New York Voices. On Tuesday, April 8, professional storyteller and actress Dolores Hydock and music historian Bobby Horton will offer a glimpse into the diaries of Sallie Independence Foster with “A Sweet Strangeness Thrills My Heart: The World of Sallie Independence Foster, 1861-1887.”

The annual UNA Front Porch Storytelling Festival will conclude the 2013-14 Distinguished Events Series the weekend of May 16-17.

All events in the series are open to the public and (with the exception of the Front Porch Storytelling Festival) presented free of charge. For more information, visit una.edu/distinguished-events or call 256-765-4208.