Throughout the communities of Down East, you will find families whose livelihood depends upon the waters that are a major part of want makes them who they are today. Although the numbers have dwindled over the past decades, there are still fishermen that spend their days and nights working on the water. It’s certainly their way of life. It’s also a life that many others throughout the state depend upon for fresh, local seafood.
Sharon and Michael Starks view the Dan Smith Exhibition at Core Sound Waterfowl Museum.
Dan Smith, photographer, has spent the last two years learning and experiencing this life. Through the generosity of Eddie and Alison Willis, and of course, Maggie their daughter, he indeed experienced the life of a commercial fisherman up close and person and was able to capture the spirit of that life through the lens of his camera. As Dan related to the group gathered for the opening of the exhibition, the story he has shared through photography is only a small slice of the greater story – there are so many more stories to tell. But this story is the beginning!
"Though the images may focus on the story of a single family, I think the images and the story they tell are vital to the broader story of Harkers Island and the communities of the Core Sound. As a North Carolinian, what led me to Harkers Island, in the first place, is the understanding that the commercial seafood industry isn’t simply an economic factor, but a key component of the state’s culture... The opportunity to show these photographs and tell these stories on Harkers Island, is vital, not only in illustrating the hard work that puts food on so many of our tables, but also to celebrate the way of life intertwined with the fishing industry." — Dan Smith
The exhibition will be open and available for viewing throughout the summer at Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center. Make plans to visit the museum to see the work of Dan Smith. As you view the images, focus not only on the Willis family, but imagine the many other commercial fishermen that have similar stories to tell. Commercial fishing is a part of the heritage and culture of Down East and these photographs “celebrate the way of life.”