March 7 – May 12, 2017
Reception April 20, 2017 from 6-8 PM
Realometer: 50 Years of America
March 7 – May 12, 2017
reception is April 20, 2017 from 6-8
As an art student in the 1960’s studying with Harry Callahan at the Rhode Island School of Design, Charter Weeks got a fundamental grounding in the technical and structural elements of image making. The influences of Callahan, Steichen’s Family of Man, Walker Evans, Weston, Adams and others of the time “shaped every element of his photography and sustained his desire to say something useful with his photographs.”
Week’s series, Realometer: 50 Years of America, is featured in the Griffin’s satellite gallery, The Griffin@Digital Silver Imaging from March 7 through May 12, 2017. A reception will take place on April 20, 2017 from 6-8pm. The reception is free and open to the public.
Independent Curator J. Sybylla Smith has been working with Charter Weeks to bring this exhibition to the gallery. “Charter and I met during the New England Portfolio Reviews where he introduced me to his expansive curiosity via an eclectic batch of black and white images spanning years, continents and subjects,” Smith said. “Charter gladly furnished back-stories with a sharp memory for detail and an obvious delight. Fast-forward a year of culling his vast archives, and you have, Realometer: 50 Years of America, a glimmer of Charter’s empathic eye,” she said.
In his book Walden, Hendy David Thoreau writes about the existence of an imagined instrument called the realometer that is capable of measuring the extent of reality inherent in one’s perceptions. He says the purpose of the instrument is to move us beyond the “mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition, and delusion, and appearance … to a hard bottom.” Smith says, “Weeks’ photographs are this hard bottom.” She continues, “Charter Weeks has spent 50-plus years mining, illuminating and recording from vantage points around the globe. From the window of his lower East Side tenement in New York during the 1960’s to the back roads of the Carolinas where he made it his mission to chronicle the impact of the 2008 recession, Charter has consistently kept a measured eye on the evolving landscape of his homeland, America. Here is a multi-decade glimpse of his honed humanistic vision – full of our shared painful, wonderful, absurd reality.”
Charter Weeks studied with Harry Callahan in 1961. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1964 with a degree in art and went on to study film making at the London School of Film Technique. He returned to the US and worked as a commercial photographer in New York City in the late 1960s shooting for ad agencies, magazines and the music industry. He was also a partner in Chicago Films producing documentaries and working for the BBC shooting news and documentary subjects. Weeks lived in Japan for 18 months teaching design and photography at Friends World College in Hiroshima and returned to the US in 1972 to build his own home in a rural community. He had various jobs from framing carpenter to film editor and in 1981 started his own business as a free lance photographer and owner of Isinglass Marketing, an Industrial and Business to Business marketing and communications company, which he still runs.