"Some of the project participants are experienced photographers, others had never used anything other than a cell phone to take snapshots," said UMass Dartmouth Anthropology Professor Andrea Klimt, who directed the project and curated the exhibit. "Their visions are quite different from one another, but together they offer us insight into the often-missed beauty of the ordinary and challenge us to recognize the complex realities of this urban space."
The Exhibit is supported through the University of Massachusetts President's Office Creative Economy Initiatives Fund Project. Participants range in age from 14 to 80, including UMass Dartmouth students, high school students from B.M.C. Durfee and Resiliency Preparatory School, and Senior Champion volunteers with the Fall River in Motion project. An opening reception will take place Saturday, June 6, 1-3:30 p.m. and will feature music by Jambalaya, a local band of seniors.
More community partners are involved in this year's effort and the themes of the project are much wider in scope. Students in Professor Klimt's Photography and Visual Culture course worked in teams during the spring semester to document various people and places in Fall River, including Sam's Lebanese Bakery, Hartley's Pork Pies, and Reis' Meat Market. Working with Durfee High School students, photos were captured of the daily life in the City's fire stations, the annual St. Patrick's Day celebration, and the local Boys and Girls Clubs.
The students also gathered fascinating stories from the people they encountered, which they incorporated into informative captions to accompany the images in the exhibit. Their narrative captions accompanying the images range from humorous to startlingly profound.
The B.M.C. Durfee High School students documented the rehearsals of a Portuguese-American band, the last ever Senior Sweetheart pageant, and artists at work in the Smokestack studio located in one of Fall River's converted mill buildings. Resiliency Preparatory School students took close-ups of trees and flora, architectural detail, and unusual things such as drain pipes, parking meters, and lamp posts. The Fall River in Motion Project volunteers documented Fall River citizens in motion at parks and green spaces, in the senior centers, and on the city's streets and walkways.