Thursday, November 2, 2017
Art in the Stacks: Photographs of New Americans by Mark Chester
The photographs featured at the library are from a project entitled “The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape, Photographs of New Americans,” that collects portraits of more than 400 naturalized U.S. citizens of the Commonwealth, benefitting The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA). The exhibit includes portraits of Vineyard resident Washington Ledesma, as well as Pema Yangchen Greer, photographed in Oak Bluffs.
Mark Chester’s curiosity and desire to photograph this community of residents led to the creation of the non-profit Cultural Diversity in Massachusetts Project, endorsed by the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. MIRA Executive Director Eva Millona sees a dual purpose in the powerful exhibit, stating “These photographs of various ethnic heritage will not only offer an insightful and education overview to all other citizens of the Bay State, but will also bring attention in promoting and enhancing immigrants’ integration. According to Mark, the project was “prompted by the 2010 Census, the seed was planted earlier on assignment at Ellis Island for a 1978 essay by mentor Charles Kuralt. Unlike my candid street photography, this is a straightforward approach: individuals looking into the camera, telling stories through expression, place and pose.”
Mark Chester has been a professional photographer since 1972. His photographs are in the permanent collections of Baltimore, Brooklyn, Corcoran, Denver, Portland, and San Francisco museums, among others. National museum and gallery exhibitions of his work include OK Harris and SoHo Photo in New York City, Camera Obscura in Colorado, the San Francisco Airport, and other venues. His photographs also accompany his own travel articles as published by the L.A. Times, Boston Globe, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, and Christian Science Monitor among other newspapers and special interest magazines.
The Vineyard Haven Public Library's "Art in the Stacks" space features rotating monthly exhibits and is managed by the Friends of the Library. The library also has a permanent collection of artworks that are displayed throughout the year, including 12 paintings by Vineyard artist Captain John Ivory. Artists interested in showing their work may contact the library at (508) 696-4210.