Thursday, January 14, 2010

Open World & Smiles From America -Bakersfield Photographer

About a year ago, I had lunch with another local photographer, Greg Iger who was working on an idea to develop an exchange of photos and photography with a city in Russia...and he had heard through some grapevine that I was a photographer who spoke Russian! Surprise! I actually took Russian classes from 7th grade until my junior year in college, and even lived in Voronezh for a month as an exchange student in 1998.

Fast forward to December 2009 and the Kern County Administrative Building and you can see Greg's hard work on display! We were able to work with a museum in the city of Umersk, Russia to create 2 displays, one here and one there. We held a contest of local Kern County photographers and sent over our best work and in return Russian photographers sent their best work. But not just any photos, images that captured the smiling joy of their native people. We wanted to dispel the myth that Americans and Russians are cold and joyless, i.e. work to much, are career-driven sad people. SO, Smiles From America was born and I enjoyed working closely with Greg to translate and help understand make sure nothing was "lost in translation!" Click this link for an article in the Californian about the opening day: Article

Ok, without further ado, here are a few photos of our exhibit here in Bakersfield. Feel free to stop by the lobby anytime (it's right next to the Robobank Arena) and check out some great photographers! ADDED: The exhibit is moving to the Beale Library on Jan 15th which is 2 blocks east of it's location now off Truxton. It will be there until Feb 12th!! Go check it out!

You'll notice the placement, Russian images on the left along with similar American images on the right. The two ladies in the upper middle image could easily be sisters! My image of joy in the winter is on the right, taken in DC last Feb.
Here's the Beale Memorial Library located at 701 Truxton Ave, between the Marriott and Amtrack Station:

We're looking forward to continuing the partnership and taking the idea to the next level! So, stay tuned for next year and in the meantime let me know if you have any questions or if you go see the exhibit! Thanks!

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