Photography Exhibit Features People, Planes Of New Hampshire Aviation

Feb 9, 2015

A photography exhibit focusing on aviation in New Hampshire recently opened at the state library in Concord.

It will be on display through Feb. 25.

Rita Hunt works in the Bureau of Aeronautics for the state Department of Transportation, and joined Morning Edition to talk about aviation in the state and the exhibit.

People don’t often think of New Hampshire as a state with a rich aviation industry, but there’s a lot going on here.

There is. Aviation is quite vital to New Hampshire, not only as a mode of transportation, but it’s a huge economic driver for the state.

When you say huge economic driver, how big of an impact is that?

Aviation, airports, and aerospace manufacturing bring in over $2 billion a year in revenue.

So what kind of photography will people see at this exhibit?

This exhibit is focusing mainly on general aviation in New Hampshire. We didn’t give the photographers a lot of direction because we wanted to see what they saw. We wanted to have their perspective, rather than have someone in aviation give them a perspective. So, it tells their story of what they wanted to see.

Are some of these historical photographs or are these all present day photographs?

They’re all present day photographs.

And are they from airfields around the state?

They are.

And aircraft, I assume?

Yes, and people. We wanted to focus on airports, airplanes, and people of general aviation.

How many airports are in the Granite State?

There are 140 registered airports, heliports, and seaplane bases in New Hampshire.

I would never have guessed that number.

Yes, most of them are privately-owned, privately-used, but there are 25 public-use airports in the state.

What are some highlights of the exhibit for you?

My favorite pieces that came out of the exhibit are the people that were photographed. The people in aviation are passionate people and genuine people. They’re kind of isolated because they usually hang out at the airport, so it was nice to actually get them on film and on display.

Are these posed photographs, or more snapshots and in the moment?

They’re both.

How did the partnership with the New Hampshire Institute of Art come about?

Well, I actually reached out to the New Hampshire Institute of Art and Gary Samson, who’s the chair of photography there, jumped right on board. He found it really interesting. He himself has interest in history of aviation, so he was very excited about it.

Will this exhibit be on display elsewhere in the state after this?

It will. It’s going to Daniel Webster College. It will also be at the Library Arts Center in Newport and it will also go to the Manchester terminal.

So other people around the state will be able to see this.

Exactly.