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Billy Garrett a featured artist on this year’s Mathews tour

Photographer Billy Garrett of Port Haywood will be one of the featured artists on this year’s Made in Mathews Open Studio Tour, to be held over two weekends, Nov. 24-26 and Dec. 2-3, at 13 artists’ studios in Mathews.

Garrett said that his professional life as a Master Firefighter and Medic has been “somewhat like that of a soldier in combat: 99 percent boredom and 1 percent terror and excitement.”

But thanks to the Kodak 110 his grandfather gave him for his 14th birthday, his labor of love over the years has filled in the gaps with a lot of pleasure and learning. He said he’s had notable assignments with National Geographic and Sports Illustrated and has received multiple ‘Best of Show’ awards.

Two events kicked Garrett’s photographic career into another gear: learning how to develop film early and adopting digital photography in 1996, before its use became common around the world.

From his high school newspaper and yearbooks, Garrett said he was able to leverage attendan...

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