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PRC Nights: Photojournalism and the Documentary Impulse

    June 22, 6:30-8:30pm
    In-Person at Bridge Gallery
     #5 Pemberton Street, Cambridge, MA

    Faith Ninivaggi, Aerosmith in concert at the Tweeter Center, Mansfield, MA, 9/14/07

    Faith Ninivaggi
    with Bruce Myren and Andy Ryan

    If you are a PRC Member and have work that fits this theme, you are invited to present along with Faith. Email to express your interest and include images (or a URL to see images):

    Early documentarian Jacob Riis was a journalist and documentary photographer whose work contributed to social reform and exposed a side of life in New York not seen by a large swath of its citizens. Today, whether with professional equipment or iPhone in hand, photographers continue the visual documentary tradition capturing all aspects of contemporary life. The many sub-genres of documentary photography encompasses styles and themes including social documentary, environmental photography, the photo essay, and projects capturing all facets of the human condition. With PRC Nights: Photojournalism and the Documentary Impulse we celebrate the world of documentary photography in all its forms and from all perspectives.

    Fellow Marines who served in Bahrain with Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, who was among 13 U.S. service members killed in the airport suicide bombing in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, pay their respects in her hometown Lawrence, Massachusetts, U.S., September 14, 2021. REUTERS/Faith Ninivaggi

    For the past 20 years award-winning photographer Faith Ninivaggi has documented major news events, pro sports, feature stories and political figures as a photojournalist for the Boston Herald, and she is a contributing freelance photographer for Reuters. Her work photographing during the pandemic in collaboration with the creative team at WCVB, earned her a New England Emmy Award. Over the past two decades, Faith has run her own freelance business photographing portrait, editorial and commercial commissions for local and national corporations. She holds a BFA in Photography from The Art Institute of Boston and recently received her MFA in Photography + Integrated media from Lesley University. Faith’s point of view as an artist and documentarian is informed by the duality of her own life as a mother and photojournalist. She has an acute commitment to photograph her subjects with sensitivity and grace, and deeply feels the inherent responsibility to both the visual, and emotional truth. Her genuine interest in our cultural and social landscape leads her to focus her intimate portraits on how we wear the life events that the world imposes on all of us. As a mother, she understands empathy and trust. As a strong storyteller whose refined humanist vision resulted from years in the field as a photojournalist, her work embodies and memorializes the human experience.

    Bruce Myren, The Washington Elm project

    Bruce Myren‘s “The Washington Elm” project documents the tree under which George Washington allegedly took command of the Continental Army in Cambridge, MA in 1775. These images are the first in a larger undertaking that considers the role elm trees have played in the history and civic life of American cities. The overarching series, entitled “The Fate of the Elms” taken from a poem by Robert Francis, includes the Elm, other scions or clones, and artifacts from around the country. By beginning with one tree, which is itself not the original, Myren invites the viewer to consider how history is represented and memorialized within the built environment and via connections to the natural world. Bruce Myren holds a BFA from MassArt and an MFA from the UConn. His work has been featured in Fraction Magazine, afterimage, and View Camera Magazine and been in group exhibitions at the Phoenix Art Museum, RISD Museum, Houston Center of Photography, and the William Benton Museum of Art. The recipient of a Cambridge Arts Council Grant, he has had solo shows at the University of the Arts, Danforth Museum of Art, and Gallery Kayafas. He has presented his work at the College Art Association and the Society for Photographic Education. Currently, Myren owns Bee Digital Lab and works at the Boston Public Library.

    Andy Ryan, June 3, 1989, Tiananmen Square, Beijing

    Andy Ryan’s photographic career is best described by one word: metamorphosis. Ryan’s striking and serene images document China’s profound transformation and seismic political and economic development.  His practice is to do so simply as a “Witness” with as little intrusion into the moment as possible. Beginning with a courier flight to China in 1989 for a five-week exploratory trip, Ryan left his job photographing the Central Artery 3rd tunnel Harbor Tunnel Project in Boston. Landing in Tiananmen Square he became an unwitting, eyewitness photojournalist, feeding images from the crackdown to NBC news. Continuing to work as a documentarian, Ryan documented civilian life in Post Desert Storm Iraq in 1991 & 1996 exhibited in 1993 at the Spectrum Gallery.