Sampson Community College’s commitment to feature local artists in the college’s hallways continues with new works on campus. The idea began earlier this summer with a painting called Rescue, by local artist Peter Butler, which now graces the main lobby at SCC.
Some of the newest pieces loaned to the college are from Fred Dufour, a local photographer whose award-winning works are currently being featured in the Victor Small House. Dufour’s love of photography and the arts can be traced back to his roots in Pontoise, France, a small town located just outside of Paris.
“Being located in such proximity to some of the finest galleries and museums in the world, this only fueled my passion for the arts,” says Dufour. “I was always around that culture and I enjoyed it. I was able to look at something that most might find mundane and I could see interesting things about them. That’s where it all began.”
Upon moving to the US in the nineties, Dufour was encouraged to attend the Penland School of Crafts, an international center for craft education located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. This is where Dufour refined his skills in darkroom techniques, lessons he still uses to this day. He acquired his first “real camera” from eBay and he was on his way.
After living in New York, Washington, D.C. and then earning his MBA at UNC, Dufour became an SCC student in 1999. He took classes in husbandry and animal nutrition here and went on to become a farmer. He currently works with Faircloth Farms here in Sampson County.
“You might think a farm doesn’t offer much in the way of photo opportunities,” he says. “You would be quite surprised. If you have a creative mindset, you can take anything that might seem simple or something that you would otherwise not pay attention to and turn it into a work of art. The architecture, fields of crops, people working—these are works of art just waiting to be exposed.”
His wife, Anne Faircloth, currently owns and manages Faircloth Farms and Lafayette Farms. She is SCC’s Foundation Vice-President and she too has a long history with Sampson Community College.
“Anne believes that the college is one of this county’s most valuable assets,” says Dufour. “People come here, maybe they have no skills or maybe they are looking to enhance skills they already have. This is a place that can change lives—this is why I was so open to the idea of sharing my work with the community through the college.”
Dufour, who doesn’t actively sell his work but is always open to share with anyone who sees something they like, not only uses darkroom techniques but displays his photography through tintype and glass prints as well.
“I most certainly do not do this for money. This is a lifelong passion of mine that started in a small town in France and has traveled here with me. I really put a lot of hours into my passion and I enjoy every minute of it.”
If you can’t view the current show of his work at the Victor Small House, be sure to visit the halls of the North Building at Sampson Community College, between the President’s division and the business office to see it. Also, visit Dufour’s Instagram at bdu_4. For more information about SCC, visit www.sampsoncc.edu.