Saturday, December 6, 2014

"Christmas Mourning!" - A Photographic Exhibit

It is truly an honor to be able to exhibit your art in public. Many take it for granted, and many more are petrified by the very idea. It is with humble heart that I announce a solo show of my work, which can be seen throughout the month of December, 2014.

Location: The Gallery in the Dawson Street Pub, Manayunk, PA
(See link at end for hours and directions.)
You may have guessed by the title of the exhibit, “Christmas Mourning!” that the theme is indeed cemeteries. A little off, to be sure, but then so am I. There is a smattering of angels here, which are kind of Christmassy, right? Witness eighteen photographs in this public hanging, ranging in years of origin from 1998 (the image you see below, entitled “Stone Emotion” to current work (2014) that I have just printed for the first time. One of my most recent pieces, of which I am quite proud, is “The Visitor” (directly below). I included a few snow scenes to keep with the spirit of the season, for example, the image further down, "Victoian Snow," which I made in 1877 (just kidding).

"The Visitor" (2014)
All are welcome to view (and purchase) the work throughout the month (take it right off the wall and pay the barkeep, if you need a truly unique piece of art as a holiday gift for that special someone. I mean, who doesn't like the idea of angels for Christmas? The angelic mingles with the somewhat creepy in this display of various sized and priced ($60 - $150) images. So if you want first choice, don’t wait until Christmas, uh, Morning.

Want the story behind the photograph? Plan to stop by the reception on December 20 and I will tell all. Every image here has a story, and they stick with me like glue, for some reason. I made some of these images locally (Philadelphia), and some in different parts of the U.S. There are some from California, some from New Orleans, for instance. Some grave markers and monuments I return to time and again. Take the angelic black and white “Stone Emotion,” for instance. I made this on film around 1999; its one of the first cemetery angels I ever photographed. I was drawn back to it for years to photograph it as it aged (weather, lichens, etc.), but it never regained that warm glow of youth. It seemed to age as if it were quite alive.
"Stone Emotion" (1998)
Reception: December 20, 2014

"Victorian Snow" (1877)
I think it was Jethro Tull who said, “The Christmas Spirit is not what you drink.” However, the various beverages are expected to flow freely at the reception for this exhibit (Dec. 20, 2014, 1-5 pm). After all, the Dawson Street Pub is a bar. Do I feel funny having such solemn work hanging here? Is it disrespectful to exhibit such images in an establishment that serves alcohol and hosts live bands?  Only if your reasons for smiling are wrong. Cemeteries can be a celebration of life - not just a fond remembrance for those who have passed, but a reminder that we should enjoy life with our friends.

I do thank Dave Wilby, the owner of the Dawson Street Pub, for the opportunity to exhibit work in his gallery (Manayunk is a Philadelphia neighborhood). In fact, every month for the past six months I’ve been curating photography exhibits here, coordinating the art receptions with the one-weekend-a-month  celebrity chef takeover. My good friend Tom Bera is the guest BBQ chef,  owner of award-winning Philly Blind Pig BBQ, which provides mouth-watering delicacies such as slow smoked beef ribs and brisket, pork ribs and pulled pork, BBQ chicken, salmon, and other specialties. The artsy crowd gets to rub elbows with the foodie crowd, and everyone has a great time!

Patrons in the Dawson Street Gallery at a prior show

While I have a number of photographs in various group shows around Philadelphia this month, you can get a good perspective on the range of my cemetery work at my Dawson Street solo show. It’s up for the month of December, and as I said, I am selling the work right off the wall. I assume there will be some left to look at on December 20!

Yule love this!

Dawson Street Pub from the Philly Blind Pig Christmas Party invitation!

There are a number of events occurring on December 20 at the Dawson Street. Stop by and enjoy the company, the wonderful food, the winter ales. Sit by the fire if you like (though that would be outside next to Tom Bera’s Philly Blind Pig smoker!) and wait for Tom’s Christmas Special for the weekend - Polish Lasagna (think layers of pierogies and kielbasa)! A Tap Takeover by guest brewers the Conshohocken Brewing Company is planned (let’s assume free samples) and live music will be provided by the band, "The Conshohocken Curve" at 9pm!

Dawson Street Pub, Manayunk, PA
See more of Ed Snyder's cemetery photographs from this exhibit on Facebook.