Hellooo, internet. Resource Magazine has 10K ‘likes’ on Facebook, and they’re featuring my work on their home page right now. As a result of me being ‘liked’ on facebook 200 times in a day. Does that mean all those 10K people out there are going to see my work? And that of the ones that see it, a few will click through to my site? And out of those, a few will stay on the site and click through my photos? That would be utterly fantastic. I’ll post again to advise how that goes.
But, social media aside, I’m thrilled to be featured. I think the reporter, Jeffrey Zusclag, asked some great questions and crafted an interview I’m proud of. I think it accurately conveys my conversational tone, and my thoughts on a handful of photo-related topics.
Happy to share some good news: I’ve again been chosen* to be part of American Photography’s 28th photo annual! Director Mark Heflin told me it was a selective competition this year: only 129 out of 8,100 submitted images were chosen for the online archive.
The jurors selected an image from my “Lost Hills” series. Shot in ‘09 in a lettuce field north of Lost Hills along I-5, I remember feeling, as I stepped through the fresh-cut lettuce stubs, that the elements of a good photo were coming together right then and there. I like the geometry and balance in this frame, the color blocks, and the straightforward gaze at hand harvest field work.
*(My images were chosen most recently in 2009. Also, incidentally, from “Lost Hills.”)
The opening of “Central Avenue: A Community Album” on Saturday was a true success! One of the local business owners co-organizing the project said she’s never seen that scale of an event on Central Avenue in her whole time here — which is almost 60 years!
400 people came from all over Los Angeles to attend, and especially well-represented were neighborhood residents. On display were 200 photos collected from 44 residents, small business owners, and neighborhood organizations that show the fabric of daily life along Central Avenue from 1926 to 2012. Interwoven were my photos from 5 weeks of shooting in the neighborhood that portray it as it is today. The exhibition transformed a brand new 3,000sq/ft retail space into an immersive environment of projections on six 12x12’ screens. It was incredible.
The outpouring of positive feedback demanded an extension to the planned one-week run. With that in mind, the venue’s owner Meta Housing has generously
EXTENDED THE RUN OF THE COMMUNITY ALBUM EXHIBITION THROUGH SAT 4/28.
Jason Neville and I intentionally scheduled the opening weekend of the “Central Avenue: A Community Album" to coincide with April 2012’s CicLAvia. The event, which closes 10 miles of Los Angeles streets to car traffic for five twice a year, has been in talks with the city to extend the route to engage South LA via Central Avenue. We wanted to work with them to create enthusiasm for that route extension, and so we implemented an informal spur.
We hung a huge banner (beautifully designed, as were all of the project’s graphics, by Stephen Serrato) at the African American Firefighter Museum CicLAvia hub, and each hour on the hour, Jason and I led bike tours the .8 miles to Central and Adams.
Over the course of the day about 200 cyclists took the brief ride saw the immersive projected show.
Above photo by Gary Leonard
CicLAvia love provided in the above photo by Deirdre Backs.
Our alliance with CicLAvia was a perfect fit: Both the larger event and this photographic endeavor are ephemeral happenings that provoke a reassessment of Los Angeles’ cityscape, and stoke conversations that continue long after the events have passed.
An immersive projected show was the perfect fit for the “Community Album.” The six 12’ wide screens effectively filled the 3,000 square foot space, and scale gave the photos ample room to impact a viewer. More significantly, anyone in the space would be surrounded by screens constantly presenting them with new groupings of contrasting views of this historic neighborhood.
Building the space out with grip and lighting equipment evoked the feel of a photo shoot at this photo-based community event. I liked that, and besides, I work with the gear all the time, and it was the perfect tool to leave no trace on the building
Quixote generously provided all the medium roller stands and 15’ pipes our hearts desired. Lucie Foundation gave us one 150’ roll of 12’ wide white seamless background paper. The challenge for me and Tony Wilson, who meticulously rolled the paper onto the pipes with me, was to use that one large roll to make all six of the 10’ tall screens. You can see all six of those screens in the photos below.
Once we had the screens built, and the projectors placed, artistic polyglot (and the man who encouraged me to project the show rather than make prints in the first place) Mark Dugally came in to meticulously measure and adhere the beautiful window decals designed by Stephen Serrato.
Complete main east-facing window, viewed from outside, on Central Avenue.
Me and Tony Wilson nudge the welcome text into position.
Jason and I with the welcome text. Happy.