REFLECTING ON “THE OTHER GERMANTOWN”…(Updated)


Hey everyone,

I hope you all are enjoying the summer.  I certainly am (particularly when the temperatures don’t soar into the mid- to upper 90s!).  Time flies when you’re having fun, right?

I remember getting the word that I was going to have a solo exhibit at iMPeRFeCT Gallery earlier this year, and how excited and honored I was to have a chance to show the work I’ve been doing to document Germantown life.  The show contained 80 black and white and color photographs spanning 2+ years.

And now it’s August 5th, and the show ended this Saturday, and I’m thinking ahead, planning and preparing to start something new.  But before I do that, I wanted to take this moment to share, give thanks, and reflect a bit on the highlights of the past three weeks, for those who haven’t already been following along.

The Opening Reception

“The Other Germantown” opened Saturday, July 13, 2013.  The opening reception was amazing and I was hugely grateful to all of those who turned out in support of my show.  It was a hot and steamy evening, but that didn’t stop anything… Germantowners love to party and celebrate!

I snapped a few photos of the opening reception that appear here on my FB page; a few of them appear below as well.  Also, I want to give a huge shout out to photographers Jo Mullins, Jill Saull and iMPeRFeCT Gallery co-owner Rocio Cabello for documenting the opening.  It was nice to get a break from shooting to actually mingle, chat with old and new friends, and enjoy the event!

Press

philly daily news article 7-15-2013The show and the gallery got a lot of amazing press and for that I am very grateful.

  • A nice article about “The Other Germantown” and iMPeRFeCT Gallery by Jessica Glazer appeared in the print edition of the Philadelphia Daily News on Monday, July 15th.  It also appeared on philly.com here.  A companion piece appeared on NewsWorks here.
  • Zoe Mueller of Next City covered the exhibit and wrote a great feature about it, which appeared on its website July 24th. You can read it here.
  • Alaina Mabaso of NewsWorks covered the exhibit.  The story appeared on its website on July 29th.  Check it out here. 
  • Maegan Arthurs of theartblog.org, and a fellow Germantown resident, covered the exhibit as well.  The story appeared on the website on July 28th and you can read it here.
  • A blurb appeared in the July 25th print edition of the Germantown Chronicle newspaper.  Very cool.
  • Samaria Bailey of the Philadelphia Tribune covered the exhibit.  The story appeared on the website August 4th and you can read it here.

 

Saturday Events

What can I say… when I found out that I was going to have a solo show, I knew what this meant:  I was going to have an opportunity to invite some of my favorite fellow artists to drop by, perform and bless the show with their positive energy.  And that they did!

  • On Saturday, July 20, 7pm: Poetry by Germantown poets De Lantz and Tiptoe, and musical selections by Germantown singer/songwriter/musician Kenny Artnsoul Lashlee.  Check out the event photos here.
  • Saturday, July 27, 7pm: Poetry by NYC-based poet and writer Sue Landers; song selections by Philadelphia-based vocalist and actress Tamara Anderson; a poetry and drumming collaboration between Philadelphia-based artists Gaille Hunter and Karen Smith. Check out the event photos here.
  • Saturday, August 3, 7pm: The Last Supper, iMPeRFeCT Gallery’s monthly fundraising event and artist talk.  Photos below:

“The Other Germantown” Portrait Sessions

Photographed July 13, 2013 in Philadelphia, PASo I had this wild idea….

Yeah. I had this idea of bringing the community into the exhibit, literally, by inviting them to come to the Gallery to be photographed in front of a wall of black and white photographs of Germantowners.  You can check out the series here and some images from the series below.

Someone asked me what I was trying to accomplish by doing this.

Well, good question.

I thought it would be an excellent way for people to engage with the work, and be a part of the exhibit, literally.

Also, I am very sensitive to the geographic, racial and class issues in Germantown, and I’m interested in transcending these boundaries, if not literally, symbolically.  I know that some people are very uncomfortable with interacting with others who are different from them, but we have to start somewhere if we want to really, meaningfully address some of the issues that have held Germantown back over the past 50 or so years.

I have plans for this series (of course I do).  More details to come.

Acknowledgements

There are so many people that I want to thank, and I know that I don’t have the space here to mention you all by name.  But know that you are appreciated and you are definitely important to me.  Thank you for making a positive impression on my life and on my work.

This show would not have been possible without the space that iMPeRFeCT Gallery offers to artists who demonstrate passion and commitment to their craft.  If you haven’t done so already, please pledge your financial support to iMPeRFeCT.  They are doing important work to advance the arts in the region, and have been an important catalyst in reactivating the long-neglected Maplewood Mall in Germantown.  Thank you Renny and Rocio for everything you do and everything you stand for.  Your mentorship, support, encouragement and advice are priceless.

I would like to thank the people of Germantown who were subjects in my photography.  Queen Akilah, Howard, Charlie, Charles, Michele, and all the rest of those I know and don’t know… you may think you are invisible to some, but you’re not invisible to me.  You matter, and you are a big reason why Germantown continues to pride itself as a place that honors inclusion and tolerance.

And a big thank you goes out to my friends, family, and fellow artists who have in some way, big or small, had an impact, influence or role to play in helping me get here.

With love, peace and blessings,

Tieshka Smith

Advertisements

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Debra says:

    So nice! Congratulations!

    1. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s