23 February 2012

(en)visioning Hyde Park :: book reading, 1

On Friday 24 February at 5:30pm I'll be presenting material in connection with the Hyde Park photography work now on display at the Gya Community Arts Gallery. I'll be reading from my book documenting the program, (en)visioning Hyde Park, funded in part through an online crowd-sourced Kickstarter grant. You can see the original Kickstarter project page here: http://kck.st/m32Pqu.

Book cover (front, back and spine)
The exhibition of photography by middle school kids from Hyde Park was first exhibited at the Old North St. Louis gallery in fall 2011. The exhibit was supported by a grant from the Missouri Arts Council.

The exhibition on display at Gya / Yeyo Arts Collective (2700 Locust Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63103) also includes enlarged portraits of the children taken by Andrew Raimist as part of the global arts initiative: Inside Out Project. This effort was initiated by a street artist who goes by the name JR and was funded through his being awarded the TED Prize last year.

You can see examples of individuals and groups from across the globe who participated in the InsideOutProject at their website. Contributors were encouraged to take black and white portraits of people and upload digital files of the images to the InsideOutProject site. In return, they would print and send out portraits at approximately 48" high x 36" wide using a dot matrix algorithm. Each portrait includes a web page address corresponding to the image posted online.

Portraits from the InsideOutProject displayed in Gya's storefront windows.
The portraits were to be displayed publicly in the community from which they came. The project's intentions related to expressing ideas about humanity, society, individual lives and how people are empowered to show their care and love for one another and for the world. The public display of the photographic portraits were then documented (again photographically) and uploaded so they can to be shared with others visiting the InsideOutProject website.

You can see examples, of these portraits below along with their display in the storefront windows at Gya. The dimensions turned out to be excellent given the dimensions of the glazing on the historic storefront in the new downtown Locust Business District located just north of the Wells Fargo complex at Market Street and to the west of Jefferson. The portraits bring a sense of life, joy and innocence to the streetscape that is in the midst of revitalization.

The exhibition also includes photographs taken by instructor, photographer and architect Andrew Raimist. He taught digital photography to the students in Hyde Park under the auspices of Rebuild Foundation's Urban Expressions program in connection with the Most Holy Trinity Catholic School located at Mallinckrodt and Blair. The program is directed by Artist-in-Residence Dayna Kriz without whose support and encouragement this project would not have been possible.

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