We were so saddened to hear about the passing of John Chervinsky – a great artist and truly brilliant human.
Though John Chervinsky seemingly had a camera in his hand from his earliest childhood, it was not until moving to Boston from Niagara Falls, New York in 1984 that he became truly passionate about photography. Roaming the streets of Boston, Dorchester and Cambridge with his father’s Kodak Retina, John photographed anything that caught his hungry eye, ostensibly to capture subjects for painting (his primary artistic interest at the time), but also to better understand and adjust to his new home. In 2003, after fifteen years as an engineer in applied physics at Harvard, John took advantage of a continuing-education stipend and enrolled in Photography Atelier (offered, at the time, though Lesley University).
His experience in Atelier marked a turning point in John’s development as a photographer, thanks to its supportive environment of peer critique, structured experimentation and professional direction. Armed with his Atelier toolkit, John moved from street photography into the controlled environment of the studio, where he set about creating the visually beguiling, precise yet beautiful body of work upon which his acclaimed reputation as an artist rests. Experiment In Perspective, John’s first solo exhibition, was held at the Griffin Museum of Photography in 2005, and continues to travel the country. The recipient of several grants, John’s work has been widely exhibited across the United States, in Canada, and in South Korea. Featured in print publications around the globe, John’s work is held in numerous public and private collections.
John Chervinsky passed away in December of 2015, following a typically resolute battle with pancreatic cancer. The modesty and unassuming character John conveyed in life belies the extent to which he will be missed, not only by his family and friends, but also by the entire photographic community of which he was so proud to be a part. In a recent interview with colleague Aline Smithson, John was asked to describe his “perfect day.” His response will come as no surprise to those who had the good fortune to know him: “It would involve swimming across Walden Pond with my wife Kirsten, playing Frisbee with my dog Little Walter, running up the spiral staircases at the Rowland Institute, shooting ‘a keeper’ in my studio, listening to good music, listening to bad music, fish on the grill, a pint of fine ale, another pint of fine ale. I have lots of perfect days – my needs are simple.”
The John Chervinsky Emerging Photographer Scholarship seeks to recognize, encourage and reward photographers with the potential to create a body of work and sustain solo exhibitions. Awarded annually (until funding expires), the Scholarship provides recipients with a monetary award, exhibition of their work at the Griffin Museum of Photography, and a volume from John’s personal library of photography books. The Scholarship seeks to provide a watershed moment in the professional lives of emerging photographers, providing them with the support and encouragement necessary to develop, articulate and grow their own vision for photography.
We thank you for considering making a contribution to the John Chervinsky Emerging Photographer Scholarship Fund, now in its second year. In doing so, you honor John’s legacy by making it possible for others to continue his work of tirelessly questioning the world around us.
You may click the link to pay by credit card or if you prefer to write a check make it payable to the Griffin Museum of Photography and in the subject line write John Chervinsky Emerging Scholarship. Send to 67 Shore Rd. Winchester, MA. We have created a restricted endowment fund to keep John’s legacy alive. Your donations will be 100% tax deductible.
Please feel welcome to leave a note for the family in “purchase note” when submitting.
See also the article in Lenscratch