May 5th, 2017

Peoria is a great place to try something new.  There’s nothing stopping you from sending an email, sharing something you’ve been working on, and hopefully getting someone interested enough to take a chance on you.

We who live in smaller cities have this great advantage – our communities encourage and feed us. There is a great desire to develop and sustain a contingent of actively working creators.

I had my first photography exhibition at the Ear in The Envelope studio in Peoria, many thanks to proprietor Lizz Barnes for the opportunity.

Jon Howard provided music.

I feel that my photography is dictated by the tools that I use. I’m not a superstitious person, but when I use a camera, I want to respect the history of that camera:  where it’s traveled, the times and places that it’s seen, and the memories of the people whose photographs have traveled through its lens.

In the same way that I feel that cameras have something akin to a soul, I also feel that cities and buildings impart their past lives on us every day as we travel through them, sometimes even in menacing or melancholic ways. Understanding the previous lives of a city help to explain its structures and passageways, and reconnecting with the original intentions of its construction can help us to transform what we are left with into a cohesive whole.

In making my selections for this show, I wanted to apply these ideas to Peoria as the city works to reinvent its heart. Our past glory as a bawdy, raucous, tough town of industry and vaudeville can and should help define where we steer this behemoth we call home.

Photo by Keith Folken

Jon Howard, Photo by Brian Rowe

The Enigma and I, Photo by Keith Folken

Photo by Brian Rowe

Photo by Keith Folken