Project Basho Artists
Richard Boutwell & Kara LaFleur
We would like to thank everyone who made it to the studio during POST, and to extend an invitation to a post-POST event.
Please join us for a Closing Reception Friday, November 2nd from 6-9.
New Large Format Work and The Lower Owens River Project: Photographs from the First Year
The Lower Owens River Project is the largest riparian habitat management and revitalization program in the country. It’s goal is to undo the ecological damage caused when Los Angeles developers diverted the river’s waters in the early 20th century to support the city’s explosive growth. The Lower Owens River was dry for nearly a century until a court mandated it be restored to its original state. Even though the Owens Valley is located in a relatively remote part Eastern California, it sets a precedent for other water rights and environmental mitigation efforts all over the West.
Work To Ride (a work in progress)
Work To Ride is a program for at risk and urban youth located in the Belmont section of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. Founded in 1994 by Lezlie Hiner, WTR started as a refuge for the youth of West Philly who were willing to put in a little work. In exchange for doing barn chores and caring for the horses, they were allowed to pursue an equestrian sport of their choosing. Following Lez’s passion, many of them chose Polo; and in 1997, they had the first African American Polo Team in America, ever. Over the years the program has evolved from a mere handful to over twenty and has seen the addition of Kate Simmer, Program Director. The kids still have to work with the horses and now undergo tutoring, to keep their grades up. Today, against all odds, these kids continue to prove themselves both on the field and off.
The images contained within Work To Ride (a work in progress) seek to explore the very heart and soul of this program. After volunteering with WTR for eight months, I began to photograph informally around the barn. The somewhat unorthodox combination of Color Holga Photography captures the surreal nature and inherent beauty of the subject matter while conveying a deeply touching truth. With this long term project I hope to impart the stories of these amazing children to the outside world, by exploring their lives as they interact within this unique environment.
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