PIQUA — If you take a walk through Jerry McGlothen’s photography on the second floor of the Piqua Public Library, you will feel as if you were on the streets of Italy, tasting quality fine wine and seeing the tilt of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
McGlothen’s landscape photography of Italy is being showcased at the library, where opening day was on Nov. 2. The exhibit will continue through Nov. 30 during library hours. The library is open from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and closed Sunday.
McGlothen, who is the director of cardiopulmonary services and chairman of emergency preparedness at the Upper Valley Medical Center, has been to Italy eight times with his wife since 2001. He became passionate about photography when he took photographs through his telescope over 40 years ago and it has been a serious hobby since.
His love for Italy was inspired by his high school Latin teacher.
“He (the teacher) brought the Roman Empire and Italy alive and I always told my wife I wanted to see the Roman Empire,” McGlothen said. “When I got to Italy, I just saw some incredible sites that I wanted to capture. We (McGlothen and wife) both fell in love with (Italy).”
McGlothen has accumulated over 17,000 images since 2001, and started to choose his personal favorite images and other images that people have liked and began enlarging them on canvas and metal aluminum.
Speaking as if Italy was a love at first sight, he explained what makes the country so special to him.
“Just about everything,” he said, “We didn’t fall in love with just the love and art; the food and the people are very warm and friendly and the wine is, of course, excellent. Italy isn’t just a place to visit, it’s a way of life.”
Currently on display at the library are memories from McGlothen’s trips to Italy from 2005 to May 2015, featuring 24 images with a couple of metal aluminum pieces. He has images of Venice, Rome, the multicoast, Pompeii, and many more.
“Italy is an amazing place to photograph, day or night,” McGlothen said.
Being in the medical field for 35 years, he sees his love for treating patients and his love for photography as two different sides to him.
“(Photography) is a completely separate part of me,” McGlothen said.
When McGlothen retires from the hospital, he wants to take trips to Italy every year for 3-6 weeks. He has helped over 400 people take trips to Italy by assisting them in finding hotels, how to use trains, renting a car, or visiting wineries. He plans to continue to help others plan trips when he retires as well.
The Piqua Public Library features local artists from time to time as a way for the Piqua community to realize the local talent that exists at home.
“I think that sometimes we need to look at the creativity and brilliance of the people around us and realize what a great place Piqua is,” said Robin Heintz, marketing specialist and chair of programming at the library.
Reach reporter Amy Barger at (937) 451-3340 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.