A few weeks ago I found myself in Philadelphia, PA for a magazine photo shoot. With about 8-hours of down time between scouting and the shoot, I set out with my camera, a desire to explore, some helpful advice from visitphilly.com, and an empty stomach. After a full afternoon/evening I come to know why people refer to this as the “City of Brotherly Love” (aside from the fact that Philadelphia is actually Greek for brotherly love which is derived from philos, “love” or “friendship”, and adelphos, “brother”. Sadly 8-hours was barely enough to scratch the surface of what this great city has to offer. If you find yourself in Philly, here are a few things that I learned to help you along your way.
This is an open invitation for everyone to join me for special panel discussion of the Palmetto Portraits Project at the SC Book Festival this Sunday, May 20, 2012 from 2:20-3:10pm.
The festival and panel are free to attend and will be held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, located at 1101 Lincoln Street, in Columbia, SC.
I will be joined by Series II photographer Vinnie Deas-Moore from Columbia, SC, Series III photographer Cecil Williams from Orangeburg, SC, and I will be representing the photographers of Series IV. We will also be accompanied by author, Josephine Humphreys who wrote the forward for the book, and the panel will be moderated by Harriett Green, Director of Visual Arts at the SC Arts Commission (and my adviser for the Artists Ventures Initiative grant from the SC Arts Commission.) For more information about the 16th Annual South Carolina Book Festival please visit scbookfestival.org.
The panel discussion is scheduled from 2:20-3:10 in the Richland Meeting Room (located at the back) of the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. (see map below)
If you are just hearing about this project for the first time, here is a brief history of the Palmetto Portraits Project, as stated in the book.
In 2006, the first year of the Palmetto Portraits Project, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) commissioned six photographers to focus on portraying South Carolinians in the Lowcountry, the Piedmont, and the Upstate, reflecting the full range and diversity of the state’s citizens, occupations, and recreational activities. In creating a collection of art to display within MUSe’s educational and clinical buildings, the university hoped to remind students, faculty, staff, and visitors of those they serve at MUSC and throughout South Carolina. Each photographer was given free rein to subject matter. MUSC did not establish any guidelines or place restrictions on whom the photographers might choose as subjects. At the conclusion of the inaugural year, the six photographers invited six additional photographers to create the second series for the Palmetto Portraits Project. This ongoing method was repeated for Series III and Series IV, concluding in 2009. In this way, these accomplished artists helped perpetuate the project, broadening the scope of participation and reaching other photographers throughout the state.
The undertaking was managed by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston. Project partners and the selected photographers expanded the ultimate impact by donating an identical set of finished photographs to the permanent collection of the South Carolina State Museum, in Columbia. This publication accompanies the exhibition, and serves as a lasting record of this historic adventure.
Reminiscent of the Farm Security Administration’s photographs of 1930s’ America, the Palmetto Portraits Project is a visual survey of state residents at the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century. Novelist Josephine Humphreys provides a first-person narrative about what it is like to be “from here,” and contemplates our shared kinship. Mark Sloan of the Halsey Institute offers insight into the privileged access that portrait photographers have long provided into the lives of their subjects. In the Afterword, South Carolina State Museum chief curator of art Paul E. Matheny, III, offers an assessment of how these portraits may be viewed by future generations, and applauds the photographers for capturing “the soul of the state.”
The Palmetto Portraits Project partners include the Medical University of South Carolina, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston, and South Carolina State Museum, in Columbia.
Palmetto Portraits Project Book Details
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press (December 15, 2011)
Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 10.3 x 0.9 inches
I am completely humbled that I have been selected as the Columbia Regional Visitors Center “Artist of the Month” for November 2010. Photographic prints will be on display and available for purchase throughout the entire month of November at the Visitors Center located inside the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center (1101 Lincoln Street).
We are kicking things off with a happy hour drop-in on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010. Please join us for beer, wine and light hors d’oeuvres from 5:30-7:30pm at the Visitors Center in the Vista.
If you can’t make it to the happy hour, I will be at the Visitors Center all day, so feel free to stop by when you have a moment. These photographic prints make unique Christmas gifts. To help you get started with your holiday shopping all prints will be discounted 10-25% from 8:30am-7:30pm on the 4th.
Looking back on my email box, I found the first correspondence letting me know that I had been selected to participate in fourth series of the Palmetto Portraits Project a year ago today. Less than five days from now, on Wednesday, September 16, 2009, the exhibit will open to the public with a reception at MUSC’s new James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine, located at 29 Bee St. in Charleston, SC.
As I sat on the porch where I currently live, listening to the water fall in the Koi pond, and trying to catch up on growing email inbox this morning, I ran across a facebook message from a few weeks ago that new friend and fellow artist Anastasia Chernoff sent, after visiting my photo show, the subject of that message was “The after-show glow…” In her message she equated the emotions of putting your first show together, to giving birth to a baby (something I’ll never know about), and went on to say “…the opening night was all so beautifully surreal. An incredible high that, to this day, STILL resonates within me when I think about it.” That last statement is something I can now completely understand though. Now that I look back on the whole experience of my show which closed at the conclusion of the 2009 Artista Vista three weeks ago, it STILL resonates within me, and I’m sure it will continue to, for the rest of my life. While my entire life has been a complete whirlwind for the past 3 months, filled with the stresses of work, travel, putting on my first show, and trying to buy my first home, I sit here this morning feeling the calmest, and certainly the most content I’ve been in the past 8 months, all thanks to the wonderful friends, and family who now share my life with me.
I believe that our culture is founded on, and formed by symbols that enable us to connect what we can see with those things that can only be understood by our souls. The symbols we use to express our patriotism, faith, love, and even socioeconomic status, are simply an outward expression of the desire we all share as human beings to belong to something larger than ourselves. The representation of these symbols in the images I have created reflects the way I see what my subjects present, as a means of communicating their belonging to the world around them.
The proceeding statement was the founding basis for my first fine art photography show titled “Symbology,” which contains 15 16×20 format silver halide prints, from editorial images which I have created over the past decade as a freelance photojournalist.
Symbology will open with a free reception on Art Night, Thursday, April 23, 2009 from 4-9pm.
The show will continue on Friday, April 24, 2009, with gallery hours from 11am-3pm, followed by a special performance from local rock band, All Walks of Life from 7pm-Until. Tickets for the show are $5, and can be purchased at CMFA in advance or at the door.
Gallery hours will continue on Saturday, April 25, 2009 from 11am-3pm, and will conclude with a special talk, and question and answer session from 2-3pm.
Well, at least one of my photos isn’t dull, according to the folks over at AntiDull, an online Fine Art and Photography magazine that was started back in August of 2007. I was selected to appear in their June 2008 issue which can be viewed at http://www.antidull.com first PocketWizard now this… I’ll be an internet celebrity pretty soon if I keep this up. Hope all is well out there.