Our new show featuring photographs by Charles A. Meyer captures a slice of life rarely seen by anyone not buying or selling a mule. Vintage in feel and intimately voyeuristic the images were shot over the past five years at the Dickson Mule Auction, the countries oldest and largest, held outside Nashville TN. Meyers’ explores the intersection between commerce and community, tradition and innovation, supply and demand, humility and profit.
Who knew these sterile crossbreeds to be such a complex and current topic? See Susan Orleans’ New Yorker article, Riding High: Mules in the Military, in the February 15 & 22nd issue. Alongside the Mennonite, Amish and Mid-American family farmers buying and selling these exceedingly strong, intelligent, and endlessly tolerant, pack animals is the U.S. military – looking to fly some to Afghanistan.
Our opening was full of it’s own intersection of tradition and innovation, including friendship and state-of the-art technology. Charles A. Meyer taught Digital Silver Imaging’s owner, Eric Luden, traditional darkroom photography at Boston College twenty-seven years ago. Meyer shoots with a traditional medium format Hasselblad fitted with a 645 back and Ilford Delta 3200 film. DSI scanned his negatives to create digital files and used Nik Silver Efex Pro to retouch, edit and enhance the detail of his warm and moody images.
The crowd was filled with fellow photo professors: Peter Laytin, Lisa Kessler, and Rachel Loischild. Barbara Hitchcock, former Director of the Polaroid Collection and painter, Mark Cooper, joined Griffin Museum staff and Griffin family members at the show.
We were pleased to welcome newcomers to our gallery including the in-coming PRC director, Glenn Ruga, Stan Trecker, Director of The Art Institute of Boston, and freelance writer Delia K. Cabe. BC students came to see Meyers’ work and were introduced to the new technology by DSI production manager, Christopher Bowers. They stated; ”It smells like a darkroom in here” and were “blown away” by the capability of DSI’s Durst Theta.