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The work product of photographer Greg Biagi’s year of roaming the events and capturing the people of Shelby County is about to become public.
Shelby County, Kentucky 2011 – A Living History, a new book from veteran Shelby County publisher William E. Matthews, is headed to the press and should be available shortly after Memorial Day.
Matthews said in a press release announcing the book’s completion, that this 9 x12, full-color, coffee-table book contains approximately 750 photographs by Biagi.
They depict historic homes, local landmarks, events such as the Shelbyville Horse Show and Long Run Massacre Re-enactment, education, churches and congregations, organizations, reunions, communities, coffee table groups and lots more Shelby Countians.
“It was hundreds of events – I don’t know the exact number,” Biagi said in an interview. “The horse show was probably the biggest event with the most people. I shot quite a few church congregations. Everything was something different.”
Biagi said he had taken thousands of images – something that he is used to doing in his portrait and event photography business – and he had driven thousands of miles in the year, but the biggest problem was getting where the people were.
“What was time consuming thing was so many events, trying to be there when so many people were going to be at the event at a certain time,” he said. “I had to be at so many different places at so many different times, trying to accommodate everyone to their schedules…all the appointments.”
But that all worked out.
“I am amazed at the quality of Greg Biagi’s photography, which dominates the book,” Matthews said in the announcement. “He worked for literally hundreds, if not thousands, of hours to make this book a faithful microcosm of what it was like to be alive in Shelby County in 2011.
“Naturally we didn’t capture every church, every historic home, or every landmark, but readers will get a definite feel of life as it was lived by more than forty thousand county residents.”
Bagdad native and former Gov. Martha Layne Collins has written the foreword for the book.
“This book is not only a great contemporary source of information and a wonderful ‘album’ of our Shelby County family,” Collins wrote, “but it will be a great reference in the years to come, giving future generations an idea about what life was like here in 2011.”
The release said the book includes a timeline for 2011, recapping what happened internationally, nationally, in Kentucky, and locally and an article on today’s culture in Shelby County written by longtime Shelbyville and Shelby County High School teacher Ernestine Jennings. Co-publisher Mae Peniston included an article on fashion in the book.
Matthews said the book will remain as a legacy for generations and to record images from places that no longer will exist.
The book will go on sale at Walgreen Drug Stores, Smith-McKenney, and Wakefield-Scearce for $49.95. Until its release, the book is available for $39.95 through the flyer published in the Sentinel-News, or by ordering the book at the office of Historic Kentucky, 412 6th St. in Shelbyville.