Half Moon Bay, CA.
Photographs & Thoughts
Now I’m pretty much a misplaced Californian, so my fondness of byway Pennsylvanian boroughs and towns doesn’t come from being a local, nor does it come from being a tourist. In California I am inundated with the new- oh there’s texture to be sure, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it by driving through a random neighborhood. Towns in central Pennsylvania stand in contrast, where the economical designs of the past, together with the flaking paint and peeling siding interweave with John Mellencamp’s “Small Town” as I drive through.
That cultural contrast is what my mind stumbled upon when I first rolled into Weatherly, (known once upon a time as Black Creek) in order to visit an old Army buddy back in 2000. Since then, my visits have been dual purpose, friends and exploration.
On one of these walks around town, I stood on the main thoroughfare staring at an aged industrial building that appeared to be older than anything else. With train tracks leading into it and a river running alongside, I couldn’t resist. What was once the Weatherly “Train Works” seemed so central to this Pennsylvanian discovery of mine. With the assistance of a long-time resident by the name of John, whom I believe worked there when he was young; I was graciously given the opportunity to photograph the place inside and out. The images came easily.
Still, I’m a semi-routine observer, just visiting with a sense to pause. Every time I do I’ve come away with something new and worthwhile. Perhaps new only to my west-coast sensitivities, but old compared to me! I won’t attempt to verbally extrapolate the images, that’s not something I do (I find it silly when artists do that!) but maybe you’ll get a feeling like I did at the Train Works- something that felt somewhat gritty but familiar, something industrial of course, something… American? Rational or not, it was visually exciting!
I never really “complete” a place that interests me, and there may be more images to be made from this place that is so terrifically commonplace. After all, my old Army buddy expects another visit from me soon I suspect. I’ll look some more, however the most indelible impressions have largely been made in my mind’s eye. I think about them as we make our journey back home and the kids bug me to play what they want to hear from my iPod. They oddly ask me to play “Allentown”…
Capsized Johnboat, Oyster Creek, NJ 2007
Door Painting, Columbia, Ca. 2007
Stucco and Shadow, Monterey, Ca. 2007
...and if you look closely, you can see a USCG 25' patrol boat in the center of the river. You see, it's an action photo!
On other fronts, Jersey Arts, http://www.jerseyarts.com/index.cfm , will likely give me a gallery slot in their online feature artist gallery sometime this fall it appears. Perhaps this will coincide with the upcoming Noyes Museum 2007 Associate Artist Members Exhibition?
It's a library after all, so we can't expect gallery lighting, but hey, it was a great presentation none the less. Thank you all.