When Honorable Mention is truly the goal ...

I just learned that I was awarded 5 Honorable Mention certificates by the IPA. The 2017 IPA Awards considered work from 14,000 entries, representing 165 countries. I'm thrilled to feel their welcome, to be at home in this dynamic, extremely diverse group of artists. Many thanks to the jurors.

I've spent a lot of this year trying to look closer, to try and see the world as nearer. Each of these photos was part of that effort. Each was made with the incredible, generous, loving help of others. I share this recognition with my friends and neighbors, with Brooklyn, with my family. And especially with Karl, Ben, Anett, and Traci.

Community Health Starts Here

So very proud that I was able to be a part of this VERY successful effort. Photos and design by Amar Productions. 

"Today, we celebrate: 4 local School Based Health Clinics (SBHCs) that were slated to close will stay OPEN for another year! Thanks to the hard work of a coalition of parents, schools, nurses, advocates, and elected officials for saving these clinics!

Recent state budget cuts, a change to funding methodology, and an upcoming carve-in to medicaid managed care created underfunding to SBHCs. While 4 local centers had been slated to close, their sponsor SUNY Downstate Medical, in response to community advocacy efforts, has decided that it will continue to operate the 4 SBHCs next school year despite the budget cuts they received. I am grateful that SUNY Downstate has stepped up for our children, but recognize the need to ensure the long-term viability of the SBHCs.

SBHCs provide free health services at schools and are a critical safety-net for immigrants and the uninsured. SBHCs are a cost-effective way to deliver primary and preventive care, manage chronic illnesses, first aid, reproductive health care, mental health, & more. From asthma and diabetes to food allergies and anxiety, these clinics can provide the difference between life and death for many of our schoolchildren.

Thanks to the coalition work of parents, officials, and health care workers from M.S. 51 William Alexander; Brooklyn New School and Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies; P.S. 38 the Pacific School; the School for International Studies; along with Assemblymember Robert Carroll, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Council Member Brad Lander, the NY School-Based Health Alliance, NYS Nurses Association, Public Advocate Letitia James, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and many others!"   - Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon

The Newswomen's Club of New York

This week I had the great honor of having my work included in the Newswomen's Club of New York 2017 Spring Photography Show (and Auction). 

"Established in 1922, The Newswomen’s Club of New York is the only professional organization exclusively for women journalists in the New York metropolitan area. Our membership includes women who work in newspapers, magazines, radio, television, photography and new media. As the news industry undergoes rapid change, we strive to uphold the values that are the hallmarks of good journalism, maintaining the public trust."

Cynthia Daignault @ The Flag Art Foundation

In a tower rising, in a gallery world, where the noise of the street, the chaos and grime of the rest, are quieted - Cynthia Daignault gives us appropriation as collaboration on the 10th floor of the Flag Art Foundation. 

Thanks again to LaPlaca Cohen for the invite and to The Flag Art Foundation for the hospitality. 

Flag Art Foundation

Cynthia Daignault

LaPlaca Cohen

The Joyce Theater, where dance is.

In 1989 I left Louisville, Kentucky for college. Four and a half hours north, wandering Middle Path, I stumbled upon the hillside sanctuary of Kenyon College's dance studio. There, emboldened by the kindness and passion of dancer | professor | choreographer Maggie Patton, I observed the best and studied from the best. Almost by accident, I discovered an essential passion within me. 

At that time, central Ohio was (and probably still is) a center of the dance world. Every show we saw was world class. It was all we knew. 

When I moved to New York City in 1994, I needed to find the familiar. I needed to get out of my taunting apartment, to resist the disorienting terror of this enormous place. The Joyce Theater, it's art deco sign reminding me of the Vogue back home, became a new hillside sanctuary. Pilobolus was the first show I saw there. And, that night might have been the first time I was able to really fill my lungs since moving to the city. My brain expelled the toxic fears, my imagination was on fire.

It is not original to say this city invites the best to claw and grapple with every new obstacle. It is here that some triumph, many struggle, and all fail (some better than others). We find transformation in unexpected places. The Joyce reminds me that herein lies the extraordinary. 

Warmest thanks to my friends at LaPlaca Cohen and the Joyce Theater for allowing me to wander and share a quiet moment in this essential temple | foundation | theater | school. The Joyce is dance, and for 150,00 audience members each year, it is a warm, intimate, welcoming invitation to witness greatness. 

The Joyce Theater

LaPlaca Cohen

Pilobolus Art Organization

School Play

The very first week of middle school, in the overwhelming haze of new place, new faces, new patterns, Dakota's drama teacher asked for volunteers to go with him one evening to a process drama workshop at NYU. 20 Kids would be allowed to come, first come, first serve. It was a feeding frenzy. Dakota called me from school, I would have to meet him out front precisely at dismissal so that I could sign his form and he could return it as fast as possible. That evening, those fortunate kids, those who didn't even know each other at all, performed improvisational drama for a group of graduate school students. I would have been incredibly intimidated. They literally exposed their souls. Such bravery. 

Now, a few months later, those same kids (along with the entire 6th grade drama department) take the stage to perform an interpretation of Hansel and Gretel. 

I know I'm a proud dad, but, these kids are fearless, deeply talented artists. 

2017, the year of the Fire Rooster.

"The Year of the Fire Rooster is the tenth year of the 12-year zodiac cycle, and the characteristics associated with it are ambition, pride and the desire to be admired." - NBC News

"The Chinese people say that this year people will be more polite and less stubborn, but they will have the tendency to complicate things." - Chinese Horoscope 2017

Hmm...

Ratto Bros. Farms, Modesto, California. 2013

Waking up, Midtown Manhattan

I leave my apartment a bit before 5AM. The streets are empty, canyons of like-colored traffic lights, tuning. The subway platform is scattered with a nervous, eyeing tension as overnighters mix with the early shifters. The weight in the air is much different than it will be in two or three hours, when the chorus overwhelms these tunnels. 

Every seat is taken on the Q. Most are off to begin their long days, traveling from their distant homes to a distant city. Most are quiet, rocked by the overheated, pulsing rhythms of the slow moving train. At each end of the car, someone sleeps under a blanket of overused shopping bags. More than one are stumbling through this quiet congregation, sinister glint in their mischievous eyes. Don't make eye contact, don't offer an introduction. They are ready to pounce.

I exit at 57th and 7th. And now I descend, following the light flow into Times Square, across 42nd Street. As the sun rises, the orchestra is done tuning. The symphony is about to begin. 

Women who have lived

My mother used to tell us all the time, "I've lived." As kids, it used to make us cringe. I had no idea what she meant. She's been gone for more than sixteen years now. Every day I have a better sense of her words. I begin this project as a tribute to my mom, Janice Faye Causey Amar, and to these spectacular women who have agreed to spend a little time with me. Together we take these moments to celebrate the lives we have lived, are living. 

Eben Bull | Craftsman | Musician | Artist

What is the measure of a person? What is the measure of how we live? 

Recently, I spent a few hours inside the handcrafted sanctuary of Eben Bull. There is not one inch of that space that isn't thought out, that doesn't have Eben's imprint. To be in that space is to know a lot about that man. It is complex, it is warm, it is quiet (though haunted by the echoing noises of those who live above and around him), and it is rich with layers and the unknown. 

Collapsible Shoulder @ The Stone

On a clear and crisp Saturday night in October, I spent a few hours in an Alphabet City sanctuary, The Stone. Thanks to John Zorn, since 2005, this magical place has offered the experimental and avant-garde a home in New York City. On this night, in the club with no sign on it's door, an insider audience gathered. The brilliant artist and music-maker Brian Chase was in residency, performing two sets. His first show was a duel with the legendary Anthony Coleman. His second show featured these guys, Collapsible Shoulder. CS is a rock band with a "long-history." Chris Cochrane (guitars and vocals), Kevin Bud Jones (synth and all things electronic), Kato Hideki (bass), and Brian Chase (drums). They live what they do and you can feel that in their music. It penetrates and moves you.