Why 'Navigating Contact'?

I have been a photographer - in my own studio, as a photojournalist and for my own enjoyment - for many years. Over the past few years I noticed my photography overlapping with passions that have driven me most of my life, passions fueled by my experience of and exposure to injustice, unfairness, bullying and the marginalization of people who are considered 'other'.

My experiences led me to turn my camera towards people who caught my attention on the street. I have taken more than 100 street portraits, often of homeless people. That led to a project called 'Faces of Recovery,' dozens of portraits (so far) of recovering addicts who volunteer to let their faces tell their stories of hope and resilience.

Which leads me to 'Navigating Contact,' my latest and most personal project.

At the core of many of the issues mentioned above is a lack of meaningful connections between individuals, especially if those individuals have disparate views or backgrounds. Researchers have found that the results of this lack of contact, especially a sense of loneliness, can lead to health issues, addiction, and even homicide or suicide. 

Are there ways we can find to connect in meaningful ways with people?

That's the question at the heart of 'Navigating Contact.' It is informed by my more than 20 years of work in fields* that require me to make contact with all manner of people and to find a way for us to navigate contact, often while discussing very difficult issues and subjects.

I hope you will join me on June 2, 2018 for what I think will be an engaging and enjoyable evening of art, discussion and good company.

Click here to go to the Facebook Event Page.

- Greg

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* As an investigative reporter in the 1980s and 1990s I interviewed dozens of people for articles about difficult issues, including men who had been raped, the impact of AIDS and HIV on a small affluent community, the biased treatment of heroin addicts (versus those who were 'innocent addicts' of overprescribed opiates), and long-term survival with HIV. Since December 1998 I have been a criminal defense investigator where I have primarily worked on death penalty cases.

Designing the Show

The photographs that make up 'Navigating Contact' were printed specifically for how they will fit into the Studio Boise gallery space. The diagram below, of two of the gallery's walls, will give you a sense of how the sizes for the prints was determined. This exhibit is designed to be cumulative, so a big part of making it work is figuring out how the images intersect and interact with each other. Choosing the prints, their sizes and their placement has been one of the most enjoyable parts about putting the show together.

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Finding Your Artistic/Photographic Voice

As I prepare for my June 2 show I have been looking for inspiration for the Art Talk I'll give at 8 p.m., which is likely to be about what motivated me to put this exhibit together, plus a little about finding your artistic or photographic voice. Here is an article that I came across that explores that very issue.

The article offers 10 questions to help people zero in on the passions that will focus their voices on things that truly matter. (I love the first question: What Angers You?)

 Photo by Greg Worthen

Photo by Greg Worthen

No Turning Back

Today I ordered 16 prints for the 'Navigating Contact' show on June 2. Plus a couple of non-traditional prints (one of them is nearly 8 feet long!).

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