March 15 – June 5, 2022
Artist Reception - March 20, 2022 - 4 to 6pm
Artist Talk - April 19, 2022 7 to 8pm Online
Jon Chase’s intimate view of Appalachia, made in 1978 and 1979 highlights the grit, determination and personal stories of the coal miners that live and work in the mountains of Coal Country.
About Jon Chase –
I have been a staff photographer at Harvard University for the past 27 years. I got my start in photography by taking a six-week introductory course at Rochester Institute of Technology in 1973. Following that, I came to the Boston area and moved to Newton Corner, where I began to photograph my neighbors in an old apartment building. This led to my obtaining a grant from the Mass. Foundation for the Humanities to produce a book of photos and interviews with people on all sides of what became a city-wide controversy when a developer bought the property. In 1987, The Fight for Newton Corner was published and distributed free of charge to every town and city planner in Massachusetts.
I subsequently moved to Cambridge and worked for several newspapers as well as Associated Press in Boston. In Cambridge I again photographed my neighbors, this time in a residential hospice on my block over a period of two years. Other projects include prison inmates at the Billerica House of Correction, coal miners and local people in Appalachia, and orphanages and flood victims in China. I have always felt an affinity for people living outside the mainstream, and that has been the focus of almost all my personal work.
I am a strong believer in combining words with photos, both to provide historical context and to add anecdotal information that personalizes the images. I have done that with my photographs of coal miners, which are mostly portraits, but which also document a specific time in the history, often violent, of coal mining in those areas of Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia known as Coal Country.
I live in Acton with my wife Louisa, with my adult daughter Maya living nearby.