Fall River Portraits – Creative Initiative Project
Over the past several months, students from B.M.C. Durfee High and UMass Dartmouth have taken their cameras into the Fall River’s various neighborhoods and photographed the people and places they encountered. The result is a wonderfully varied and fresh look at life in various corners of the city. This collaborative portrait features many of the city’s small businesses – barber shops, bakeries, grocery stores, tattoo parlors, clothing stores – as well as neighborhood scenes, moments of everyday life, and often unnoticed but fascinating detail. Their outstanding work of over 200 images will be shown at The Narrows Center for the Arts in an exhibit entitled, “Fall River Portraits: People, Neighborhood, Community.”
The project was designed to create meaningful collaborations between high school and college students and to encourage all of the students to explore and better understand the people and communities that make up Fall River. UMass Dartmouth students gained a deeper understanding and appreciation of the city that is just down the road from their campus, and high school students were encouraged to explore and reflect upon their own communities. Both sets of students found ways to creatively document the city’s diverse cultures and communities.
One of the results of this project is a celebration of Fall River’s family-owned businesses. Students visited over forty small businesses in the Flint/Pleasant Street and South Main/Columbia Street areas, talked extensively to store owners, and documented the people and interactions in these establishments. Stories about some of these businesses will be featured in the show. Local businesses were also selected to print the images, host the show, and provide the refreshments for the exhibition opening. Participating merchants will also receive personal invitations to the exhibition as well as copies of students’ photographs in thanks for making the students feel welcome in their establishments.
The project is sponsored by a University of Massachusetts Creative Economy grant and organized by Mark Carvalho, photography instructor at B.M.C. Durfee High School, and Andrea Klimt, anthropology professor at UMass Dartmouth.
An Artists’ Reception will take place on Saturday, May 10th from 1:00 – 3:00, at the Narrows Center for the Arts, 16 Anawan Street in Fall River. Admission is free. The public is cordially invited. The show will be open from May 10th until May 31st, Wednesday thru Saturday, 12-5.