"Not eating chard. That's what all those weirdos eat at their stupid picnics on the Hungry Ghost lawn." -Nina

October 17, 2007

Fleeting Fossils. Petrographs by Pamela Petro On The Sidewalks Of Main St.

Fleeting Fossils: An Installation of Petrographs in Northampton, Massachusetts, mid October – mid November, 2007, downtown Northampton (on the sidewalks).

Petrographs, depending on where you look, are defined as photographs, drawings, or carvings on stone, and Pamela Petro, (her real name) is using photographs as her medium for her new public art project on the sidewalks of Main St. Walking by Iris Photo last night at 7.30pm, I had a chance encounter with her doing just that. Pam spoke on camera about her work, and why she is doing it. You can view that here.

Pamela Petro recently applied for and received a permit from the BPW to put place petrographs on the sidewalks downtown. You can view some of her previous work at her blog, Petrograph Gallery, which also has information on Fleeting Fossils, Pam's project here in town. From the blog she is maintaining to document her work, she writes,

"In September 2007 I gave 60 fourth-graders at the Jackson Street School in Northampton, Massachusetts black and white disposable cameras. I also gave cameras to participating residents of the Lathrop Retirement Community, just around the corner from the elementary school. Both young and old photographers had one mission: to record their lives in Northampton—the people, animals, foods, flowers, clothes, and landscapes that they love."
The little contraption she was using to create her work, completely covered with black plastic bags, drew a curious crowd of onlookers, with those gathering wondering aloud about what was going on. Either by design, or happenstance, also on hand was a photographer from the Springfield Republican, a reporter from the Gazette, and a camera man with WWLP 22 news, which only heightened peoples' curiosity. At times, it looked as if the paparazzi were furiously photographing Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie buying film at Iris Photo.

The first image Pamela placed on the street was a photo of two fourth graders at Jackson St. School. That petrograph, in the photo above (right) is in front of Iris Photo, and after she finished up with that one, she headed across the street, all her gear in tow, to place another piece in front of Faces, across the st. She will be adding a few more in other areas over the next few weeks. At her blog, Pam adds,
"In addition to the children's and seniors' pictures, I'll also be making sidewalk petrograph prints of historic images of Northampton, taken from the 1850s to the 1950s. The original photographs are in the collection of Historic Northampton, which houses a tremendous archive of local and regional photos that are also available online. In November I'll create a bluestone mosaic path in downtown Northampton; each stone will be printed with a different historic image."
LABELS: downtown, northamptonist tv, street art, community notes

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