June 25 – September 6, 2009
Reception June 30, 2009.
Alex Swetka, 90, has played tennis competitively for more than 50 years and is a dominant player in his age group. Seventy-three-year-old Ginette Bedard runs 16 miles daily and holds the world record in the marathon for women older than 70.
“In the spring of 2007, I began to photograph and interview men and women over the age of 70 who continue to compete athletically and who are, in many cases, among the best in the world at their sport,” says Rich.
“I was drawn into this largely unknown sub-culture as an artist and as a runner,” he continues. “It has forced me to examine my own preconceptions about growing old and to ask the question, how do the experiences of these unusual individuals change the cultural dialog on aging.”
Rich says his perspective evolves “with each portrait made and with every conversation had.” But, he adds, “At the core of the project, are the athletes themselves with their uncommon ability, their singular drive to compete, and their belief – against the odds – that with dedication and luck they will be able to excel beyond expectation.”
“John Rich’s photographs are an inspiration,” says Paula Tognarelli, executive director of the Griffin Museum of Photography. “Each image of senior athletes evokes the muse in all of us to seek out new adventures.”
Rich, who graduated from Northeastern University in Boston with a degree in anthropology, has been involved in photography for more than 20 years as a teacher, photojournalist and, more recently, an editorial and corporate photographer. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Yankee Magazine, and the Boston Globe. Recent clients include Wellesley College, Bank of New York Mellon, and the Pine Street Inn. He’s been a resident of Brookline, MA, for 25 years.
The Griffin Museum of Photography is open Tuesday through Thursday, 11 am – 5 pm; Friday 11 am – 4 pm; and Saturday and Sunday, noon – 4 pm. The Museum is closed on Monday. Admission is $5 for adults; $2 for seniors. Members and children under 12 are admitted free. Admission is free to all every Thursday. For more information, call 781-729-1158.