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A Photographic Tribute to Historic Sloss Furnaces – Opening Reception

July 20, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Meet the Artist, Ken Boyd on Wednesday, July 20 from 5:30-7:30pm in the Sloss Visitor Center
Author and Photographer

Ken Boyd has been a passionate, enthusiastic, and award-winning photographic artist, researcher and writer since the 1970s. His photographic work is often described as idealized, painterly and romanticized, and his approach to photography is simple – a clean, orderly and optimistic representation for every image.

His work, techniques and reviews have been extensively published in books, magazines and journals. He is the author of several commercially released and widely distributed books, including Historic Watermills of North America (The University of Alabama Press, 2020), Historic North American Locomotives (Kalmbach Media/Trains, 2018) and The Art of the Locomotive (Voyageur Press, 2014).

Ken began visiting, studying and photographing Sloss Furnaces in the mid-1970s, just a few years after the furnaces shutdown in 1970. During this era, the site was basically abandoned and deteriorating. Over the ensuing years, he explored both the exterior and the interior, photographically documenting the massive structure and the vintage equipment and machinery. He also became interested in Sloss as a backdrop and setting for his numerous steam locomotive images from the 1970s through the 1990s.

Over the years, Ken has continued to visit and photograph the site and participate in historic events, such as the 100th Anniversary Celebration in 1982. The images in this exhibit span almost five decades and are shared as a lasting tribute to this marvelous and ever-changing structure.

Ken currently teaches photography courses at Samford University and previously taught at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for many years on subjects ranging from traditional darkroom methods and vintage 19th century photographic processes to creative digital techniques. For a time, he hosted photography class field trips at Sloss. Ken is a graduate of Jacksonville State University and The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Ken frequently speaks to groups around the area on a range of historic subjects, and he guides tours to Alabama’s watermills; please contact him for information.

He and his wife, Dori, live in Hoover, Alabama, and enjoy travel, exploration, history and the arts.


July 20, 2023
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm