Julia Unruh-Kracke's Posts

Hanging out with Larry Towell and Mike Stevens

Posted by on May 14 2008 | Behind The Scenes, Photography

This past weekend I was fortunate to organize Larry Towell’s lecture / multimedia performance with Mike Stevens. Amazing music and images. Below are some pictures from the rehearsal.

Larry Towell rehearsing for performance at George Eastman House

Larry Towell rehearsing for performance at George Eastman House

LARRY TOWELL

“Larry Towell’s business card reads “Human Being”. Like Robert Doisneau, he is one those rare photojournalists who travels reluctantly and only when the subject really matters. Experience as a poet and a folk musician did much to shape his personal style, and wherever he travels, Towell concentrates on finding and photographing intimacy. He became a Magnum nominee in 1988, and a full member in 1993.”

“If there’s one theme that connects all my work, I think it’s that of land-lessness; how land makes people into who they are and what happens to them when they lose it and thus lose their identities.”

Larry Towell: The World From My Front Porch

Harmonica virtuoso Mike Stevens at George Eastman House
MIKE STEVENS

Hailed as an innovative musician and author, Mike transcends the perceived limitations of the instrument in virtually every musical genre. His aggressive soulful approach to the harmonica takes audiences on an incredible journey. Best known for his groundbreaking work in the bluegrass field with legendary Grand Ole Opry members “Jim & Jesse” (with whom he has performed on The Grand Ole Opry over 300 times); Mike was able to create an original, much sought after and often copied, style of playing the harmonica.”

Images from the performance:

Larry Towell and Mike Stevens perform at George Eastman House  

Larry Towell and Mike Stevens perform at George Eastman House

Larry Towell and Mike Stevens perform at George Eastman House

Larry Towell and Mike Stevens perform at George Eastman House

Larry Towell and Mike Stevens perform at George Eastman House

Comments Off for now

Hanging out with Eli Reed

Posted by on Mar 14 2008 | Other, Photography

Julia Unruh-KrackeEli Reed is a prize-winning documentary photographer, and a member of Magnum. He also works in the motion picture industry as a special photographer.

His exhibition Black in America is on display at George Eastman House through June 29, 2008.

“Eli Reed has been documenting the black experience in America from the time he began taking pictures. This volume, “Black in America”, is his provocative and often poignant portrait of black life in America.

As a photographer, Reed is known for his unflinching coverage of events both large and small. Here we see tender moments between parents and children contrasted with the Los Angeles riots. The joy of a wedding follows the sorrow and anger at the funeral of Yusef Hawkins (whose death sparked the Crown Heights riots in Brooklyn in 1991). The deceptive innocence of rural life balances the tension of the urban drug scene. A 104-year-old woman contemplates her life a few pages away from the Million Man March in Washington, D.C.

There is the truth in Reed’s work, as well as anger, and compassion. These images communicate to us – sometimes as gentle as a kiss, sometimes as hard as a bullet. They are all part of Eli Reed’s America, and ours.”

George Eastman House has commissioned Reed to create a contemporary and localized supplement to his series, photographing Rochester’s African-American community. I was fortunate enough to lead the organization and producing for his Rochester work. It always amazes me how much you can accomplish with a few phone calls. I took Eli to see the Campbell Brothers, at the House of God in Rush NY. He was blown away by the music and the hospitality that The Campbell Brothers and their church community extended to us.

Here is Eli with The Campbell Brothers

Eli Reed with The Campbell Brothers

He also made a contact with Mr. Charles Price, Rochester’s first African American Police Officer. Eli and I went to his house where he took a portrait of Mr. Price and his wife.

Eli Reed at Charles Price's house

I also had the pleasure of taking Eli Reed over to The Community Darkroom here in Rochester. The Darkroom runs a Urban Youth Program and has so for many many years.

We really only had 30-45 min for Eli to talk and be with the kids, as I needed to get him back to the museum to get ready for his lecture. We ended up staying for an hour and a half. The kids were glued to Eli’s every word. The students put one of their 8×10 photographs on the wall and Eli took the time to talk to each kid about their photo. Eli said he had a wonderful time and would like to visit them again when he comes back to photograph Rochester.

Thanks to Sharon at the Darkroom for contacting GEH to see if Eli would want to visit and thanks to Eli for taking the time to spend with each student.

Eli Reed at The Community Darkroom in Rochester, NY

Eli Reed at The Community Darkroom in Rochester, NY

Eli Reed at The Community Darkroom in Rochester, NY

Eli Reed at The Community Darkroom in Rochester, NY

Eli Reed at The Community Darkroom in Rochester, NY

5 comments for now