The Gallery at Town Hall, an on-going project of the Orange Arts & Culture Council, will feature the photography of Orange resident Priscilla Searles for the month of October. Under the direction of Lucia Bloom, the Gallery displays the works of local artists in a variety of mediums.
A resident of Orange for over 50 years, Priscilla Searles began her career as editor of publications for the Armstrong Rubber Company. She recently retired from Second Wind Media, publishers of Business New Haven and New Haven Magazine, where she worked for 20 years as a writer, researcher, historian and photographer. A onetime staff reporter for the New Haven Journal Courier, she served as editor of the Connecticut Antique Machinery Association newsletter for 18 years. She also served as executive director of Fort Nathan Hale Restoration Projects.
“My interest in photography came about when I realized, while working for Armstrong, that if I wanted photos for my written material, I better learn to take them myself. Armstrong bought me a camera, a bag of film and sent me home to figure out how the whole thing worked. I’ve been taking pictures ever since, although I certainly don’t consider myself a professional photographer … just an out-of-control amateur.”
A director of the New Haven Museum (New Haven Colony Historical Society) for 20 years, the last five years of her term as secretary, Searles continues to head the Museum’s education committee as well as the Pardee Morris House Committee. She has written and implemented numerous educational programs, including Free Men: The Amistad Revolt and the American Anti-Slavery Movement, distributed to schools across the country. She was an incorporator of the New Haven Crypt Association, the organization responsible for the restoration of the original New Haven Burial Ground, located under Center Church on the Green. Searles also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Domestic Violence Services of Greater New Haven.
A member of the organizing committee for the Orange Country Fair, she served as superintendent of Arts and Crafts for 40 years. She is presently secretary of the Board of Directors of the Orange Historical Society, publicity chair for the Orange Arts & Culture Council and was recently appointed Orange Town Historian.