AS220 Media Arts presents
From The Edge
Documentary Photography Now
Aurora Providence (old Roots Café) , 276 Westminster St., Providence, RI 02903
Free Admission, 7-9pm
AS220 Media Arts is hosting its fundraiser and celebrating 20 years of The Paul Krot Community Darkroom all throughout April. To compliment the exhibit, Portraits of Marasa: Photographing the Dominican Republic and Haiti, AS220 Media Arts will also host “From the Edge: Documentary Photography Now”, a panel discussion on the state of documentary photography, on Wednesday, April 16th, from 7-9pm at Aurora Providence. This will feature photographers Huáscar Robles, Miguel Rosario, and Mary Beth Meehan, moderated by Marc Levitt, host and co-executive producer of the Action Speaks! live radio forum. The discussion will center on the role of photography as a tool for documentation, the role of the photographer, and the opportunities and challenges presented by new technologies. Huáscar captured a critical moment in Haiti, with a journalistic eye, while Miguel documented the daily life of people in the Dominican Republic as someone who belongs to its cultural diaspora. Mary Beth is an experienced documentary photographer and a professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design; bringing an additional academic perspective to the conversation on culture and photography.
Portraits of Marasa: Photographing the Dominican Republic and Haiti is an exhibit of photographs by Miguel Rosario and Huáscar Robles. The exhibit runs the whole month of April at Aurora Providence. Miguel Rosario presents black and white portrait photography capturing life in the Dominican Republic. Huáscar Robles showcases a body of work from his travels to Haiti right after the catastrophic earthquake of 2010. The combination of these two bodies of work by two photographers from AS220’s community of artists, leads an exploration of the relationship between the two countries that comprise the island of Hispaniola.
Huáscar Robles is a journalist, photographer and critic who tackles topics of culture, urbanism and politics. Besides being a correspondent after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake for various media outlets, he produced “The Invisible Coast”, a short documentary on Haitian immigrants in Puerto Rico. He is a columnist for Puerto Rico’s El Nuevo Día and has published articles and photographs in Chicago Tribune’s Hoy, Acts of Witness and other media in United States, Puerto Rico and Brazil. He is a 2009 Urban Media Fellow of the Institute for Justice and Journalism and a 2009 Ochberg Fellow of Columbia University’s Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. He currently works on his first book on Haiti’s five-year after analysis and will commence Graduate Studies at New York University. Huáscar Robles was also AS220’s Artist in Residence in May 2011. During his artistic residency, he created a series of black and white darkroom photography on Rhode Island’s Latino community, titled “El país bajo mi piel: Culture, Memory, and Resistance”, which became part of the permanent collection of the Rhode Island Historical Society. For more information visit: www.Huáscarrobles.com/el-paiacutes-bajo-mi-piel
Miguel Rosario is a photographer and educator who has been a long-time AS220 community member. He launched his photographic career and passion through AS220 Youth and the Paul Krot Community Darkroom. He has been a dedicated mentor and Photography Instructor at AS220 Youth, AS220’s youth program focusing on teens under the custody and care of The State of Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families. Miguel Rosario’s photography capture daily life in the Dominican Republic. it’s people, identity, and culture. Routines, nostalgia, and immigration are recurring themes in his subject matter. His work is a sensible glimpse at the heart of the Dominican experience. Miguel Rosario was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and spent part of his childhood between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. As a photographer, he travels between Providence and the Dominican Republic, where the changes in his childhood town of Monción have inspired him to document the growth of Dominican culture through his photography. miguel-rosario.com and youth.as220.org.
Mary Beth Meehan is a Providence-based photographer whose current projects deal with immigration, culture, and community. Her goal is to create a connection with the people of those communities, whose identities are often obscured by economics, politics, and race. Meehan’s work has been exhibited and published widely, including in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and the Washington Post; has been honored by Pictures of the Year International and The National Conference for Community and Justice; and was nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize. Her series entitled Undocumented was featured in the Boston Sunday Globe and has received financial support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts toward a touring exhibition in the fall of 2011. She is currently working on a second long-term project entitled City of Champions: A Portrait of Brockton, Massachusetts, which responds to her changing, post-industrial hometown. That work earned her a Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship Merit Award in 2009, and also received financial support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She has recently won a grant from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities for her work in Brockton to be installed as a large-scale public banner project in the city’s downtown in September of 2011. Meehan teaches Documentary Photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and is director of the Documenting Cultural Communities program at the International Charter School in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. www.marybethmeehan.com
Since August 1994, when the Paul Krot Darkroom was established at 115 Empire Street, AS220’s photography programs have grown to embrace both digital and traditional B&W photography, added studio lighting, and camera rentals, as well as resources for photo finishing, digital editing and large-format printing. We introduced educational offerings to support the use of these new resources. In 2012, we began to expand the photography program into a Media Arts program supporting complementary analog and digital mediums such as film, video, audio, and computer/web applications. AS220 currently provides affordable access to graphics software at the Media Arts Lab, and is planning a gradual expansion into new media as resources allow.