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An Evening with Jim Dow: March 30, 2023

    7:00 – 9:00 pm at Lesley University
    University Hall screening room, lower level
    1815 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

    Jim Dow, Curlicue Arrow Sign. US 2, near Wenatchee, WA1972

    Co-presented by the Photographic Resource Center. and Lesley Art + Design’s MFA Visual Arts, BFA Photography, Office of Community Engagement.

    American photographer Jim Dow has long been fascinated by the ingenuity and creative spirit found in the built environment. Between 1967 and 1977, his first decade as a young photographer, he drove along old U.S. highways on numerous cross-country road trips, focusing his large format camera on time-worn signage extracted from billboards, diners, gas stations, drive-in theaters, ice cream stands, burger joints, and other small businesses. Indebted to Harry Callahan, with whom Dow studied at RISD, and the work of Walker Evans, another key mentor, Dow’s early photographs highlight the effects of time’s passage, as commercial tastes and styles shift from one era to the next. Though most of the subjects Dow photographed have long since disappeared, his images avoid nostalgic longing or ironic commentary. With reverence and humor, Dow conveys the importance of making one’s mark on the land and celebrates the desire to express individual agency and creativity in the landscape we inhabit.