Jane Moore, 81, 2017, wet collodion ambrotype. © Kathryn Mayo. All Rights Reserved.
Carpenter Hall, Sunset Center, Carmel
$10 General admission, free for CPA Members
We are pleased to present Kathryn Mayo’s moving documentary project, We Are Selma: The Selma Portrait Project. The Sacramento photographer returned to her hometown of Selma, Alabama, to explore its complex cultural and historical identity through portraiture and storytelling. Choosing the historic photographic process of wet plate collodion ambrotype, she worked with an ultra-large format camera and an antique 19th century lens to create more than sixty-five one-of-a-kind portraits of Selma residents over the course of four months. She also recorded an interview with each participant.
Mayo drew her subjects from all walks of Selma life. She photographed the young and old, veterans, civic leaders, religious figures, civil rights leaders, students and educators, new immigrants and multi-generational descendants, plus beauty queens, athletes, homemakers, entrepreneurs, forward thinkers, former racists, and those living with confederate consciousness still ingrained in their hearts. Her portraits are long two-, three- and sometimes four-second exposures, which capture fleeting changes of expressions in a kind of magical compression of time and reveal multiple, even hidden, facets of a subjects’ identity. The reflective, almost three dimensional quality of the glass plates allow the viewer to see themselves in each portrait, elegantly raising questions of personal responsibility, obligation and accountability.
Kathryn Mayo grew up in rural Alabama and earned a BA from the University of Alabama. She went on to Tulane University in New Orleans where she earned her MFA. She is full time educator at Cosumnes River College near Sacramento, CA, where she teaches film, digital imaging, History of Photography, and alternative photographic processes. She is the recipient of the 2017 Alabama Artist Award from the Huntsville Museum of Art and finalist for the Julia Margaret Cameron Award.
An exhibition of Kathryn’s Selma Portrait Project will run Friday, June 8th through Saturday, June 30th at Carmel Visual Arts in The Barnyard Shopping Center. A public reception will be held 6 – 8pm on Saturday, June 9th.