Many of you know that I set out on a 72 hour road trip to Michigan’s “Thumb” a few weeks ago but what I did not indulge was that I was actually on the road shooting an upcoming install that would be on display at the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM). Above is a sample image of my show titled: “ROAD TRIP: Thumbprints” and consists of 341 (4x6) prints, along with my travel map and journal.
ROAD TRIP: Thumbprints.
One Photographer. Seventy-Two Hours. Countless Roads.
Terry Johnston is a Grand Rapids native and photographer whose wide range of clients keep him constantly on the road. However, this was Terry’s first visit to Michigan’s vast “Thumb” area.
Terry set out to see what would happen if a city dweller was forced to venture out to one of Michigan’s most rural areas; capturing the everyday lives and experiences not captured in an ad campaign.
Setting out with only a map and a journal, Terry drove and camped this way throughout the region; capturing the things that seem to go unseen.
His earliest memories regarding photography were simply going through shoeboxes littered with tattered family photos. In an age of digital consumption of photography, ROAD TRIP: Thumbprints allows viewers to experience the tactile sensation we’ve lost when viewing our personal photographs.
Over time, buildings rise and fall and people come and go, but their presence still remains. ROAD TRIP: Thumbprints examines the culture and lives of those in an area of Michigan not often seen by outsiders.
Grand Rapids Art Museum
October 21 - November 13, 2011
Press Release from The GRAM:
The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) presents Michigan Perspectives, on view October 21 through November 13, 2011. The exhibition is offered in conjunction with the Michigan Film, Art & Literature Symposium taking place at GRAM on November 12 & 13, 2011.
The state motto of Michigan is: If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you. This might also reveal something about the people living within its coastal borders. The Great Lakes that surround Michigan’s upper and lower landmasses function as both barrier and passageway. Between these vast bodies of water lie forested land, fertile soil, and other natural resources that have provided inspiration for industrious people. Over time, industrial and population cycles vary, while water remains a constant presence. Michigan Perspectives offers a selection of art from the permanent collection and from the community that explore these themes, both past and present.
Guests are encouraged to explore the art in the exhibition, and consider attending the symposium to share ideas focusing on a theme: identifying and understanding the Michigan perspective in creative expression. A significant component to the discussion is defining the region from within the Michigan community along with an awareness of how others perceive and represent it.
From the permanent collection, the exhibition includes works of art by Paul Collins, Reynold Weidenaar, Steven Benson, and photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company. From the community, works of art by Andrew Krieger, Dianne Carroll Burdick, Terry Johnston, Brian Kelly and Jason Quigno are included. The exhibition selection is offered as a conversation starter; a sampling of work that asks the viewer to consider what common themes and unique attributes are found in Michigan-based works of art.
An artist reception is planned for Friday, November 11, 2011 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm in the Grand Rapids Art Museum lobby and east court.