Arlette Kayafas opened Gallery Kayafas in 2003 in Boston’s then new gallery district in the South End. The gallery exhibited photographs from renowned photographers often pairing them with new emerging artists. Kayafas and her husband, Gus, have been collecting photography for more than five decades and the gallery only shows work that she would consider adding to the collection.
I would like to thank Kodak Alaris and specifically Tim Ryugo for supporting my work for two projects, The Fortieth Parallel and The Fate of Elms.
Rockport and Gloucester, Massachusetts, like so many US communities, were once blessed by the presence of glorious, vase-like American Elm trees along most of their streets, lanes and avenues. The 80-100+ foot trees were planted on Cape Ann in the mid-1800s to grace our communities for future generations. Rockport’s Dock Square had an elm planted by Ebenezer Pool in 1859 alongside the town pump, and the top of Pigeon Hill had two side by side named Loring and Rebecca that could be seen for miles from sea and helped guide local fishermen home from their journeys for over a century. Just about every street had a dozen or more elms to shade the landscape and create a cathedral-like setting that now lingers only in the memories of older generations.
Poems to a Listener, a half-hour radio program of readings and conversation with poets, consists of quietly penetrating interviews in which poetry is an integral part. A poem is read, a conversation emerges, then the poet simply takes a breath and reads. Gradually a kind of narrative unfolds, the poems documenting certain moments or reflections, the conversations extending them tangibly to the listener. By the time the last word is spoken the listener has been offered a deeply personal encounter where there may be much common ground. As one listener has commented, “I felt I was standing in the doorway of a room, overhearing a conversation which had to do with my life.”
Bruce Myren’s The Fortieth Parallel is a project of western depiction. Rooted in history, it takes cues from historic survey projects and their subsequent rephotographic cousins, Ed Ruscha’s explorations of buildings on Sunset Strip and the New Topographers’ unromantic views of the west. It is an exploration of how to picture the land when the land has already been pictured: a conversation with the past designed to teach us about our present.