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[cleeng_content id=”996993164″ description=”Read it now!” price=”0.49″ t=”article”]Frank Robbins to unveil ‘The Proprietors’ exhibit

Frank Robbins knows it can be grueling to keep a small business on track, and the self-trained photographer says his latest portrait exhibit is designed to celebrate several local folks who do.

The Harpers Ferry resident’s new show, “The Proprietors,” will be unveiled this week at the Jean Heiler Art Gallery inside the Old Opera House at 204 N. George St. in Charles Town. An opening reception is scheduled for Friday evening.

Robbins, 67, said the idea for this exhibit can be traced to his show “The Artists & Artisans of Jefferson County,” which delighted visitors to the Fire Hall Gallery in Charles Town last fall.

With so many positive responses to his work, Robbins said he wanted to create more environmental portraits of local residents.

This time around, he put his focus on the area’s unique small businesses and made sure to choose businesses with roots here rather than franchises of national corporations.

“This exhibit honors independent small businesses,” explained Robbins, a University of Maryland graduate who worked for the federal government in D.C. for more than three decades.

The exhibition features a number of local residents who run businesses in downtown Charles Town and elsewhere in the county, including Steven Brewer, the managing director of the Old Opera House; Alfredo Amaya, who owns Alfredo’s Ristorante & Mediterranean Grill at 132 W. Washington St. in Charles Town; Dave Bush of Valley Hardware at 121 W. Washington St., Charles Town; Scott Snowden of Garrison’s Barber Shop at 109 N. Charles St. in Charles Town; Rick Garland of O’ Be Joyfull historical tours in Harpers Ferry; Dean Hockensmith of Dean’s Lawnmower Service in Shenandoah Junction; and Jennifer Williams of the Cone Zone in the Somerset Plaza off of U.S. 340.

“I wanted to acknowledge the contributions small business owners make to the community,” said Robbins, who founded the Jefferson County Photo Club in 2008. “My wife was a small business owner, and I realize how tough it can be sometimes.”

Robbins, whose work has been published in in The Washington Post and several magazines, will attend the exhibit’s opening reception, which happens from 5:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Friday at the historic theater.

The exhibit will remain on display at the Old Opera House this weekend and next during the run of “Legally Blonde: the Musical.”

Robbins said the photographs may be seen an hour before each performance and during intermission through the play’s finale, a matinee on Sept. 15.


— Christine Miller Ford


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