MANCHESTER >> An art exhibit featuring two artists, one of them local, opened earlier this month at the John Zaccheo Fine Art Gallery.
Ted Schiffman of Manchester is a renowned National Geographic wildlife photographer who has published 15 books. His portraits and studies of animals in their natural habitat, often struggling for survival against human and environmental adversities, have an unusual directness and his work has been recognized through exhibits at several galleries, institutions and universities.
A trip to Mt. Kilmanjaro in Tanzania in 1972 ignited his interest in chronicling the lives of animals in the wild, and have kept him returning there frequently ever since, he said.
"I return to Africa because it's a magnificent place; the place we all came from," he said. "It's a magnificent part of nature to see the animals and while poaching has been devastating, we can still see things with them."
Schiffman, whose work has been published worldwide by the National Geographic Society, The Smithsonian Institution, The Sierra Club, Vogue and many others, has about 100 prints available for viewing at the Zaccheo gallery.
Another artist being highlighted this month is Michael Davidoff, a watercolorist from Ulster County in New York. His style is one which emphasizes remarkable realism and precision in rendering rural scenes — houses, barns, landscapes — which brings them to life.
His meticulous approach to creating his paintings was influenced by the work of artist Andrew Wyeth, he said, and an outgrowth of wanting to preserve the legacy of the landscape through his paintings.
"I'm trying to find a sense of time and place," he said. "I have great fondness for the region I live in, and this translates into regional realism."
Davidoff has 15 of his watercolors on exhibit through July, but this is not his first exhibit at the Zaccheo Gallery. He has been a member artist there since 2012.
John Zaccheo opened the gallery, which is located on Main Street a short distance south of the roundabout, in 2009. He is also an artist of some renown. In addition to sculptures, he is also a highly accomplished and respected portrait artist. Presidents John Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, along with President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Menachim Begin of Israel have been among his subjects. He also created the official painting of the original landing on the moon which was presented to astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and also painted portraits for Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn and Tony Bennett.
The idea for the current featuring Schiffman and Davidoff emerged from a desire to create an exhibit that offered something for everybody, he said.
"Some may like photography but not formal artwork, or the reverse," he said. I find that since everybody has different tastes, it's better to take more of an eclectic look."
He tries for diversity in the artists he represents and exhibits at his gallery, he added.
The exhibit of work by Schiffman and Davidoff will be on display until July 31. For more information, call the Zaccheo Fine Art Gallery at 802-366-1066, or visit johnzaccheofineart.com.