This weeks 5+ is coming at ya from one pretty incredible lady, Anne Maureen McKeating.
She’s not only a client, but an advocate for great photography and passionate about the industry as a whole. You can always have a good gab with Anne Mo and chew the fat on all things photography and advertising.
Derek Shapton and I were fortunate to spend a lovely afternoon with Anne Maureen a couple weeks back. She was a bit hesitant about having her photo taken, but after a bite to eat (along with a pint), she was ready for her “close-up”.
I like to peek into corners, so I tend to be inspired by folks who create outside of established systems. Here’s a brief list of people/places/experiences that have made me oooh and ahhh over the last year.
Museum of Jurassic Technology in LA
Founder David Wilson used to work in film. One day he asked himself why he was dedicating so much time and energy to an industry that ultimately left him dissatisfied? So, he bravely left his previous life behind, acquired an old mortuary and created a museum. Where else could you find out that eating mice on toast cures bedwetting or see strangely haunting tributes to trailer parks and Soviet space dogs? MJT is an amazing, complex collection of beautiful oddities. Wilson is genius.
Elsewhere Collaborative in Greensboro, North Carolina
For close to 40 years, proprietor Sylvia Gray ran a three-story, 12,000 square foot, thrift store where nothing was for sale! After her death, grandson George Scheer and colleague Stephanie Sherman re-envisioned Sylvia’s vast, unwieldy collection as a living museum, international residency program and creative laboratory. They have turned what might have been “the dark family secret” into an imaginative space where art and life become one and the same. The project is now partially funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation. Sylvia would be proud!
Creativity Explored in San Francisco and the Creative Growth Center in Oakland
These non-profit visual arts spaces provide studio and gallery opportunities for adults with developmental differences. The caliber of work coming out of these centers always blows my mind and I inevitably make a purchase (or two). The last time I visited, I purchased a text-based work by John Patrick McKenzie. Many of his works refer 1970’s era television in general and Joyce DeWitt in particular. I also bought a William Scott, whose meticulous paintings attempt to depict an “elusive normal life”.
The Larry Spring Museum of Common Sense Physics in Fort Bragg California
Fort Bragg is a beautiful, scrappy, eccentric logging town on the Mendocino coast. My friend Heather Brown and myself are co-crating a storefront museum there, called the Larry Spring Museum of Common Sense Physics. Larry was an explorer of radiant energy. He published and experimented tirelessly to disprove Einstein and to advance his own theories. Larry embraced the DIY aesthetic well into his 90s! All of his experimental works are constructed from found materials and many are solar powered. There is something amazing about walking into the storefront and experiencing his works in motion without Larry’s living presence. Website, blog and Facebook page are in progress.
Larry Spring Image © Heather Brown
Gallery 44 Outreach Program in Toronto, Ontario
Gallery 44 is a non-profit artist-run centre committed to contemporary photography and related practices. G44 also runs an outreach program that offers photography workshops to youth without access to image making tools. The workshops culminate in the publication of a zine (distributed across Canada), an exhibition of works at the gallery and cash awards to promising young artists so that they may continue their creative exploration. A BIG THANK-YOU to the Toronto photo community who have heeded our call for donations. Your sensitivity and generosity is truly inspiring!!