Have been quite pleased and honored to be the as-much-of-the-time-as-I-can official portrait photographer for this project. Our Town is the brainchild of my old pal Bryce McCloud, Founder and proprietor of Nashville’s Isle of Printing, and I am one of a rotating cast of characters which always includes Bryce’s IoP partner-in-crime (and in matching customized speed-suit), the talented and lovely Elizabeth Williams. Our Town is kindly supported by a grant from the Metro Nashville Arts Commission.
The basic thing is this: A magical bicycle-cart arrives (often with the aid of an old green ’76 Ford pickup) with the helpful and capable Our Town staff. Participants create a self-portrait, using black ink and a custom-made stamp kit. They then trade the original artwork to the project in exchange for a beautiful letterpress-printed version of a previous participant’s portrait. Then (when I’m there) I take portraits of the portraitists WITH their portraits! It’s a full circle. The participants are from all walks of life and all levels of artistic skill. It’s about heart. And willingness to be part of something. And sometimes Art (with a capital “A”). I love that even the ones that are not technically accomplished seem to have some piece of the makers in them.
Here are a few of my faves from the events I’ve shot, which include Handmade & Bound, Southern Festival of Books, Room in the Inn, Parnassus Books, and most recently Oasis Center. Not to be disparaging of the other pictures, I just didn’t take ’em;)
This is far more pictures than I usually post here, but it’s been a great adventure, and there’s so much good stuff here. And more to come!
The end product is somewhat evolving, but will be a sort of Self-Portrait of Nashville. Stay tuned.