At the beginning of 2013, I curated an exhibition called Early Works with friend and colleague Laura Moya. The show is a collection of images taken by contemporary photographers when they were children - paired with narratives about each piece. The show debuted at Newspace Center for Photography here in Portland and then traveled to RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco. Now, the show is on the move again! Early Works opens at the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado next Friday, February 7th. We're pleased as punch!
The impetus for the exhibit was a little album of photographs I took when I first got my hands on a camera at age five. In chatting with Laura Moya about it, we realized that she had a number of old childhood photos, too. (You can read the story of the unhappy children at my 5th birthday party here). The idea for an exhibition was sparked. We held a call for entries and images came rolling in from photographers all over the U.S. and abroad.
The images we selected for the exhibition are wonderful - but the most compelling part is the stories. There are stories of love, loss, hope, fear, and all the heartwarming, messy adventures and discoveries of childhood. Photographer Lewis Koch shares an image he took when he was 15 or 16 years old of Martin Luther King, Jr. at a rally in the mid-1960's. The acclaimed photographer Roger Ballen shares the first image he made of a bird - a subject he's returned to again and again in his career as an adult. There are stories of mothers who died too young, of embarrassing childhood crushes, of beloved pets and sibling rivalries. Over and over, as I return to the images, I am swept up in the beauty, humor, terror, and raw humanity of it all. I'm incredibly proud of this show. And, I'm so thankful that these wonderful photographers have been moved to share their stories with us, and with gallery goers in Oregon, California, and Colorado.
If you're not going to be in Fort Collins this February, you can still enjoy the entire exhibit online. The show will be up at the Center for Fine Art Photography through March 1st, 2014.
Early Works includes images by: Corey Arnold, Roger Ballen, Douglas Beasley, Steven Beckly, Sheri Lynn Behr, Lori Bell, Jesse Burke, Richard S. Chow, Joseph Deiss, Maureen Drennan, Deena Feinberg, Gloria Baker Feinstein, Rich Frishman, Michael Jang, Zoltan Jokay, Ann Kendellen, Lewis Koch, Hannah Kozak, Varese Layzer, Phoebe Lickwar, Jim Lommasson, Anne Leighton Massoni, David Pace, Stephen Perloff, Jaime Permuth, Alexis Pike, Jordan Reznick, Trix Rosen, T. Scott, Jack Semura, Frederick Sharpe,Marsha Stewart, Stephanie Williamson, and Charlyn Zlotnik.