Thursday, April 7, 2016

Weird N.J. in Smithville!

"The Bishop"
Back in the day (which, I believe, was a Thursday), I had a few photos and stories published in Weird N.J. (i.e., Weird New Jersey). If you don’t know what that is, you’ve been missing out. If you DO know what Weird N.J. is, you’ll be tickled to know that my next public hanging will involve the creators and publishers of that magazine, those books, and the hosts of the (2005) History Channel television series, Weird U.S.! Yes, Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman, the creators and masterminds of all that Weirdness will be in attendance on April 16, 2016, at the annual Smithville (New Jersey) Art Walk! (To visit various Weird N.J. sites, please see links at end.)

Samplings of the Weirdness of Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman

Child's grave in Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh, PA

Yours truly, Ed Snyder, will be there at an art booth with my friend Susan Agiro Spitz, another accomplished artist. We will be exhibiting our very weirdest cemetery photography. There will be books, matted photographs, and lovely greeting cards featuring our original images, all available for purchase. Some may even match your sofa.

A sampling of Susan’s work can be seen on her Susan's Secret Garden Facebook page.

Ed Snyder’s work can be seen on Ed Snyder's StoneAngels Photography Facebook page and on Ed's website,

Reclining Granite Woman, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in East Orange, N.J.

I’ve never been to Historic Smithville, New Jersey, and I am quite looking forward to the event. My map shows it to be a lucky seven miles north of Atlantic City on Route 9. If you’ve never driven on Route 9, it is a photographer’s paradise of classic Jersey roadside attractions - like miniature houses and two-story milk bottles. And apparently, Smithville is haunted by the undead, if you can believe the paranormal experts (see this NYDaily News article!).

One thing that never seems to die is peoples' interest in death, and as a result, stories about and photos of cemeteries intrigue people. I will have quite a bit of my work there, including some of the images you see here. I chose them because they were all published at one time or another in a Weird N.J. publication. The color photos were made in Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and were featured (pages 240-1) in the book, Weird Pennsylvania.

The black and white images were made in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in East Orange, N.J. These were published in the Oct. 2004 issue of Weird N.J. magazine (“Your travel guide to N.J.’s local legends and best kept secrets”). On pages 42-3 you’ll find “The Parkway as Road to the Necropolis?” - a short narrative about my first visit to Holy Sepulchre. The Marks title this recurring section of their magazine “Cemetery Safari.” (This image at right is rather curious. I assume the statues were made in the likenesses of the woman (foreground) and man buried below. Someone once asked me, "Why are there statues of George Washington and Stalin in that cemetery?")

So please stop by the Historic Smithville Art Walk if you're in the neighborhood of Atlantic City on Saturday, April 16 (Rain Date April 17), 2016! Come see the fruits of our cemetery travel - photographs, greeting cards, books, and other death goodies! All for sale! Come and trade cemetery stories! Susan and I would love to meet you!

Smithville Art Walk

April 16th, 2016 (Rain Date 17th)
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

References and further Reading:
Historic Smithville (New Jersey) website
What is Weird NJ?