The West Behind Us @release party

If you’re in Portland, Oregon on May 30th please join Lisa Wells and Bobby Abrahamson for the release of The West Behind Us. This is the limited run collector’s edition made possible by Clark College and The Regional Arts & Culture Council. (Stay tuned for the trade edition)

Volume I Brooklyn gave us a nice shout out today. Read more HERE:    Volume I Brooklyn

 

Please join photographer Bobby Abrahamson and writer Lisa Wells for a book release party for their new book — The West Behind Us — at Newspace Center for Photography on Friday, May 30th, from 6-8pm. The authors will talk about the project, have copies of the book for sale, and sign copies. Abrahamson will also have a selection of prints from the project on display and for sale.

The West Behind Us documents four small, rural towns in Oregon – Fields, Mitchell, Long Creek and Halfway – investigating the challenges faced by rural communities in an age of increased urbanization and economic depression. In the tradition of WPA era collaborations like James Agee and Walker Evans’ Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, the book includes 44 striking black and white photographs by documentary photographer Bobby Abrahamson, along with extensive interviews with residents, and first-person narrative by author Lisa Wells. As Dave Blanchard of Oregon Public Broadcasting writes about the project: “The two Portland-based artists understood the challenges of accuracy and exploitation inherent in documenting the lives of others. They traveled to the locations separately, not wanting to come across as offering a definitive account of the towns. They instead focused on their personal connections with the towns and the people who live there.” The results are two independent, complementary visions of life in rural America on the cusp of the urban millennium.

 

The 45th Parallel @ Think Out Loud

“Lisa Wells and Bobby Abrahamson set out to document the plight of Oregon small towns in the spirit of the Federal Writers Project during the New Deal. Their work, titled The 45th Parallel, is currently on display at the Newspace Center for Photography in Portland.

They focused on four Oregon towns: Halfway, Fields, Mitchell, and Longcreek — all of which have populations under 350 people. The two Portland-based artists understood the challenges of accuracy and exploitation inherent in documenting the lives of others. They traveled to the locations separately, not wanting to come across as offering a definitive account of the towns. They instead focused on their personal connections with the towns and the people who live there. The photographs on display are the beginning of what the artists hope will be an on-going project in collaboration with the residents depicted.”

http://www.opb.org/thinkoutloud/shows/45th-parallel/