On June 3, UMass Dartmouth is proud to sponsor the Fall River Portraits ~ Making Things exhibit at the Narrows Center for the Arts. The exhibit, which takes place from 1pm - 3pm and is open to the public, is a collaboration between college students from UMass Dartmouth and high school students from Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School. The students have been photographing production areas and workers in 25 locally-owned workshops and factories in Fall River.
The photographs depict the making of everything from shirts, hats, uniforms, leather bags, tool belts, and jackets; to nuts and bolts, precision machinery, and high-end security cameras; to furniture, pillows and mattresses, musical instruments, jewelry, soaps and toiletries, and dental implants. The students have discovered incredible activity, pride, and skill behind the doors of the sometimes rather run-down old mill buildings and the often bland looking exteriors of the Industrial Park. Their photographs and accompanying captions document and celebrate the fact that lots of useful and beautiful things are made in Fall River.
The Fall River Portraits ~ Making Things exhibit will feature about 350 photographs of these factories and workplaces as well as captions detailing the histories of these businesses and stories of the people who work in them. The exhibit will also showcase many of the signature products produced by participating businesses. Everything from hats, purses, shirts and motorcycle jackets, to soaps and toiletries, to metal tools and fasteners will be shown alongside the photographs that tell the story of how they are made.
Refreshments will be provided by Diman’s culinary students as well as by local family-run bakeries and food businesses that make some of Fall River’s much-loved specialties. Many of the owners and workers of the participating businesses will be attending the opening. The aim is to collectively celebrate what are often unrecognized—sometimes struggling, sometimes prosperous, always persevering—businesses that constitute an important core of this city’s economic life. The exhibit will be up until July and can be visited free of charge Wednesday–Saturday, 12noon to 5pm at the Narrows Center, 16 Anawan Street, Fall River.
This project is made possible by grants from the University of Massachusetts President’s Office and UMass Dartmouth’s Center for Civic Engagement and College of Arts and Sciences, contributions from Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School, and the enthusiastic collaboration of the owners and employees of the participating businesses. The project is coordinated by Dr. Andrea Klimt, Director of Urban Studies and Anthropology professor at UMass Dartmouth, and Mrs. Michelle Gaudencio, graphic communications teacher at Diman Regional and faculty advisor of the Photography Club.