Friday, October 13, has been officially declared as “Jesse Kalisher Day” by Mayor Lavelle, as a way to honor a man, his accomplishments and his contribution to the Carrboro community.

Kalisher was a noted photographer with work hanging in prominent galleries and exhibits around the world, including the Louve, Smithsonian and George Eastman Museum. Kalisher’s photographic style was firmly rooted in observation, of allowing viewers to experience the world his camera captured in its purest, most truthful form.

He was quoted as seeing his camera as “a vehicle for capturing what actually exists in life,” and his work as “seeking a window into human achievement and the human condition.” The first photographs of Barack Obama acquired by the Smithsonian were taken by Kalisher, and prints of his work are common appearances for sale at major American travel destinations, including the Grand Canyon, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Empire State Building.

This Friday’s inaugural Jesse Kalisher Day will be celebrated with “One World,” an exhibition in memory of Kalisher by the Nicholson Gallery – in conjunction with the 2nd Friday Art Walk – that will be on display at both The ArtsCenter and Carrboro Town Hall. The exhibition will feature black-and-white photographs from Jesse’s personal travel and location collection, as well as selection photographs from the community. All proceeds from the exhibition will benefit the Triangle Land Conservancy, as a tribute to Kalisher’s legacy of community improvement. The showing will run until December 31.


Carrboro economic development director Annette Stone spoke with WCHL’s Aaron Keck about “One World” and Jesse Kalisher’s legacy.


Prior to his passing, Kalisher was the owner, operator and president of “Kalisher,” an eponymous art gallery and consulting firm in Carrboro. His final post to his blog, titled “Farewell and Gratitude” serves as a suitable snapshot of who he was, and what he meant to the world around him. He is survived by his wife, daughter and son – and now by an official recognition by the Town of Carrboro for his service and positive impact.