Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tucson's Center for Creative Photography

Yesterday we went on a "group road trip" to the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson.  The Agave Gulch Fam Camp here at Davis Monthan Air Force Base had a sign-up sheet in the office for the tour.  We thought "sounds good" and signed up, not really knowing anything about the place or tour other than it costs $5 each.

Turns out it wasn't a guided tour; instead, Pam, the Fam Camp manager, drove 8 of us to a place on the University of Arizona in an Air Force utility van, dropped us off and then picked us back up in a couple of hours. 

And -- it was interesting and a lot of fun.

The exhibit we saw consisted totally of photos by Charles Harbutt, an American photographer who worked as a photo journalist for 20 years. After that he focused more on personal photos rather than those about social and economic change. 

The exhibit included a video about Harbutt's most recent book, "Departures and Arrivals," two electronic displays where you could page thorough his two previous books, a continually running slide show of many of his photos, and blow ups of some of his work displayed on the walls.

Harbutt has taken photos all over the world, including Cuba during the 1959 revolution that lead to Fidel Castro's control.  At the time Harbutt was 23, spoke no Spanish, but ended up briefly working for Castro's newspaper, La Revolucion. A quote from Harbutt in the exhibition said that on day one in Cuba he experienced the following firsts: covered a major news story, saw a dead body, was picked up by the police, jailed, slept on a park bench, and had a tryst with a beautiful young woman.  Jim later remarked that it took him at least two years in the Navy to accomplish all that.

Bev in front of Tucson's Center for Creative Photography.  On it's website it claims to be the world's largest institution devoted to documenting the history of North American photography." Charles Harbutt is still alive and is, in fact, giving a lecture in Tucson tomorrow evening.
The "after party":  The exhibit was not as big as Fam Camp manager Pam had thought, so our group made use of the extra time by having lunch at a University of Arizona pub called Frog and Firken.   Two more folks showed up after I took this photos but above are Lynn, a former school principle from Indiana, plus Steve and Vicky of Spokane.  And Jim.
Bev and Jim at Frog and Firkin.  I had a Sam Smith Chocolate Stout, which may be a new favorite.  Jim had a Frog and Firken IPA. 

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