minniev wrote:display (1 of 1).jpgdisplay (1 of 1)-3.jpgdisplay (1 of 1)-2.jpgMy first and only exhibit of my photography opens Friday at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. The journey has been convoluted and nerve-wracking. I've learned a lot, made lots of mistakes and learned from them too. I am sure I have MUCH more to learn as this unfolds.
The journey began when I was encouraged by friends here and elsewhere to submit a portfolio of my Dam Bird project to Luminous Landscape for one of their Endowment awards. To my surprise, I won the award. But then the work really began because I had to chase the objectives I'd put forth in the proposal: To bring attention to the rather precarious situation of these birds and make their environment safer and to make public this body of work that is really neither documentary photography nor art, but something in between.
Making Life Better for the Birds: In the course of this adventure I've cleaned up a lot of toxic trash from the birds' hangout and met/worked with a lot of people who involved in water ecology, watershed development, fishery ecology, birding, wildlife management, recycling and environmental education. They range from waterways engineers to game wardens, teachers to kayak rental agents. Everyone has a story, from the gal who spent 12 years as a Navy helicopter rescue pilot to the guy who was the official photographer for the New Orleans Saints for 30 years. Some represent organizations like Keep America Beautiful and Riverkeepers that I knew little about previously. It's been inspiring and educational to be a part of this bunch of diverse folks and help be some of the glue that keeps them connected in a common cause. KAB is sponsoring the opening event Friday night.
Taking My Pictures Public: It's exciting and scary. I knew nothing of outsourced printing (and now only know a little), choosing papers, upsizing images, solving color space issues through a chain of devices not my own, designing advertising posters, making business cards and brochures, deciding about display spaces, pitching for media coverage. The senior exhibit specialist at the museum went down with a torn ACL a month ago, so most of us were then in the same boat, having little idea how to do all these tasks. My prints are not all as I'd like them to be but my lack of expertise and time constraints forced me to compromise in ways I'll learn from should there be a next time.
Here's a few pictures of the nuts and bolts of putting it together today at the museum. It was all-hands-on-deck- me, the executive director, the biologist who takes care of the big fish tanks, the researchers, everyone. All seemed to be going well this morning though the mounting was mysterious to me, but mid afternoon I got a text asking where I got the frames from. Hmm. Guaranteed there's a problem. Turns out one fell and crashed, they say it didn't damage the print but the frame was destroyed and had to be replaced. 'Twas best one fell today rather than all 15 tonight while everyone was gone, so they could change their hanging method.
I'd love to hear from others about their gallery shows, trials/tribulations and victories.
Fantastic and congratulations. I'm proud to know you.