"It's a Snap!" is a show of anonymous snapshots from the collections of some of the most prominent collectors of found photos in the U.S. The exhibition will be on view throughout next month at the Mill Arts Project, which is located in Eastworks, 116 Pleasant Street, Room 137, in Easthampton, MA.
The opening reception is scheduled during Art Walk Easthampton on Saturday, February 14, from 5-8 pm. Entertainment will be provided by Zack Danziger.
The exhibition is free and open to the public, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from noon to 5 pm.
As the show's curator, Stacy Waldman says, "In the age of the selfie, it is not surprising that the paper snapshot still holds a special place in our culture. Snapshots are the rage and have been the subject of books and major museum exhibitions in the past few years.
"The personal printed photo has always been a way for humans to record family, friends and important life events. They are about memory and nostalgia. Now more than ever with digital media dominating our photo memory making and printed photos disappearing from our lexicon, snapshots exert a powerful tug on us. We still live in an age where boxes or albums of family photos are tucked away in a closet or attic. To take them out and view them (or to see them exhibited in a museum or gallery) is to engage in a voyeuristic ritual not unlike watching a reality TV show. Snapshots tell us about social conventions, fashion, hairstyles, and what was considered important enough to be captured via the camera. They are simply history we can see.
"I want to show people how an anonymous snapshot, sometimes with quirks and mistakes, can be magical."
Waldman has been dealing and collecting in photographs since 1999. She is excited by the prospect of this exhibition, where collected snapshots can be seen as art. She sets up a photo and ephemera shows throughout the country. Her collections can be found at facebook.com/houseofmirthphotos, and http://houseofmirthphotos.blogspot.com.
One participating collector in the exhibition is Robert E. Jackson who has collected snapshots since 1997. In 2007, his collection formed the basis of The National Gallery of Art's show and catalog entitled: "The Art of the American Snapshot: 1888-1978".
Jackson notes, "It is an honor to have Stacy Waldman ask me to participate in a group show whose members have such good eyes for images and who all have such wonderful collections. I try never to miss an opportunity to share with a larger audience the exciting photo medium which is the snapshot."
William Hunt, another collector in "It's a Snap", is a champion of photography. He has been looking at and talking about pictures for many years. He has written two books "The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the Unconscious" and "Hunt's Three-Ring Circus".
Hunt says, "People get hung up on the notion of legitimacy when it comes to photographs and specifically snapshots. 'If I can take them, how can they be art?' My advice. Relax."
The full roster of collectors whose photos will appear in the show include:
Steve Bannos, Peter Cohen, Maria DiElsi, John Foster, Mark Glovsky, Clare Goldsmith, Richard Hart, William Hunt, Robert E. Jackson, Nigel Maister, Sabine Ocker, Nicholas Osborn, Billy Parrott, Ransom Riggs, Randall De Rijk, Ron Slattery, Albert Tanquero, Erin Waters and John Van Noate.
Additional "Snap" events include:
--Thursday, February 5, 6-9 pm or Friday, February 6, 6-9 pm, one-night workshops to make your own collage with vintage photos provided. Following the workshop, finished collages will be included as part of "It's a Snap" in the back exhibition space. There is a fee of $25 per person and space is limited. Contact Houseofmirthphotos@gmail.com, for more information.
--Wednesday, February 25, 7-9 pm, "It's a Snap!" is collaborating with Easthampton City Arts+'s "Unbuttoned" to host an Instant Poetry night. Local poets and viewers are invited to read a poem they wrote about one of the photos in the show, or one of the loose snapshots in an interactive pile.
If you would like to help with the crowd funding to raise a bit of money for the show, go here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/it-s-a-snap-important-group-show-of-found-photos/x/8383484.
For more information about this exhibition and its programs, please contact Stacy Waldman at Houseofmirthphotos@gmail.com.