Saturday, August 6, 2016

Where Were You?

"9/11 Project, Reflections and Memories
Gallery r
100 College Avenue, Rochester
until August 21, 2016

If you are as old as I am ( 66 ), you will remember the day and what you were doing when you heard that John F. Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas, Texas.  But, if you are of a younger generation you may remember what was happening when you learned that jet airplanes ran into the World Trade Center towers in a terrorist plot just fifteen years ago.  All of those recollections come rushing back when you visit Gallery r this month.  What you will see on the walls of the gallery will no doubt bring back memories, and engender a lot of discussion.

Headlines from the collected newspapers
Gallery r

The newspapers that deck the walls of Gallery r were collected by Eric Kunsman and his students after the horrific events of 9/11.  Eric was teaching a course that day in Applied Photography and was involved in a class discussion about how photography might help shape history- and this was when the crashes took place in lower Manhattan.  Eric asked his students to go and collect their hometown newspapers and bring them to class for a dialog.  Eric kept all these newspapers ( 121 of them ) and they are now on display along with some of the discussion that he recorded with his students.

"The Day America Cried"
Gallery r

What were you doing when the planes hit?  I can recall that morning because I was teaching my class, and I happened to go out to the library where someone had rolled out a TV cart and the news was flashing about the events in New York City.  Needless to say, I was shocked, and I thought about what I should tell my students about what was happening - if they didn't know already.  The pictures of the smoking building is etched in my memory.

Eric Kunsman and his class collected headlines
Gallery r

The newspaper headlines tell you a lot about the national mood, and everyone was stunned by the photos and the events that day would begin to change our international policy.  The country reacted by canceling all flights for days, all planes were grounded and the sky grew quiet.

You can read all about it on the walls of this exhibition which is a necessary one to remind us of those days, and it also gives you a perspective for what is going on today in places like Syria and Libya.  The role that photography plays in this case not only documents history, but also can shape how events play out in the public realm.

Art you can live with
paintings by Belinda Bryce
at Axom Gallery

Down the street in a much calmer milieu, I visited the Axom Gallery to see the kind of art you can feel at home with.  This art blends well with your decor, and the show on now features many artists you may already be familiar with including painters like Belinda Bryce ( above ) and Kurt Moyer.
I found works of interest by Isaac Payne and Matthew Langley ( his "Blue Veil" (see below).

Axom Gallery
Rochester, New York