It’s official. My mentor, Raymond Ketcham, will open his show in Port Townsend on January 14, 2017!
Making photographs at the Boiler Room over the course of several years, Ray slowly created intimate portraits and revealing documentary images about people on the journey to knowing themselves. I’ve had a ringside seat as the photographs were made and as part of my mentoring I worked closely with Ray on finding a place to show the images and securing grants and funding for the exhibit. The latter requires a completely different skill set and one most photographers find challenging or non-existent. Being able to articulate why the work you make should be shared with a wider audience means you have to draw a connection between your photographs and the goals and objectives of the gallery or funding organization. It isn’t as straightforward as having strong images or an attractive storyline, often there are “political” angles you should understand and leverage. Early next month Ray will be making an application to the local Arts Commission for more funding. The submission has already been written and forwarded and now we wait to hear (hopefully) some good news.
We have also been working on a couple of books for the show. I’m pretty excited as Ray handed over the design of the exhibit book cover to me and I went with something unexpected, well I believe, at least for a photography book. Even after many months, I still do love the cover. Here’s a sneak peek.
The books were published with the full support of the Northwind Arts Center which means Ray did not have to go the self-publishing route (aka Blurb Books). Instead the books were produced at the local print shop and then sent to Seattle where they were bound. The quality is much better than any self-published book. Although I haven’t had a chance to see the final product yet, I do know people will appreciate the essay written by John MacPherson, photographer, writer and teacher. John’s insight into the work and what it takes to make these kinds of photographs is both instructive and inspiring. The introduction was written by Jordan Hyman, Boiler Room patron and budding writer.
There is one more thing you need to know about the books. They will be available for sale at Northwind Arts Center and through the Boiler Room. A portion of the proceeds of these sales will go back to NW and the Boiler Room. This is a good way to help support the work of both organizations especially if you are not able to attend the show.
Putting together a show is a very expensive endeavour. Working with Ray on the budget, I know there will be a deficit especially if he is not able to get any further funding, and there certainly is no guarantee that he will. After much debate, I have managed to persuade Ray to accept individual donations to help pay for the show. The donations will be made to the Boiler Room who will issue tax receipts and Ray will be able to use the funds to help pay for printing and installing the photographs. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Ray or me.
The show opens January 14, 2017 with the official Opening Reception on February 4 during Port Townsend’s monthly Art Walk. On February 5 at 1pm Ray will be doing an Art Talk at the Northwind Arts Center. I do hope we will see you there.