Grand opening celebration. Opening celebration Friday September 20, 2019, 6-9pm. Exhibition Thursday September 4 – Sunday September 29, 2019.
FRANK MYERS – STROLLING THROUGH DURHAM
This exhibition in our upstairs gallery features photographer Frank Myers collection of beautifully hand-crafted cyanotype prints, platinum prints, black and white pigment prints, and large Polaroids of scenes in and around the Bull City.
Frank Myers Interview
5PG Interviewer: When did you realize that photography was your medium of choice as an artist, and how did your practice evolve from that point on?
It was less of a realization than a practicality. As my life got busier, I migrated toward photography, which I started using as a way to capture forms, shapes and compositions for my drawings and paintings.
5PG Interviewer: Does an artist have an obligation to speak about some form of “truth” of the world around them in their work?
Artists are compelled to create, that is their only obligation. Not sure how an artist avoids speaking about their truth because if they are open and honest in what they create, it will come through. Forcing an intention or viewpoint in art can often come off as disingenuous.
5PG Interviewer: You are a former member of the Pleiades Arts gallery; what motivated you to start this new downtown Durham art gallery, 5 Points Gallery?
Rents going up and the gentrification of Durham is making it difficult for the aspects of Durham that make it unique to survive. One of those aspects is it’s artistic heart, which I have been a part of for more than a decade. I believe having a contemporary gallery of local artists in a prominent downtown location is very important in the battle for the soul of Durham.
5PG Interviewer: As a photographer, you really do work with a variety of application techniques. What would you say is your main motivator for creating your art?
I am compelled to create. It is a lifelong compulsion that no matter how many times I have tried to suppress and deny continues to drive me. As part of that compulsion, I really like experimenting, using ancient analog techniques and the latest digital technologies to create and evolve my artistic vision.
5PG Interviewer: What has been one of your scariest experiences as a photographer working in public?
Not being a journalist or war correspondent means there have been few occasions for me to be afraid while working as a photographer. I have had a couple of “too close for comfort” encounters with wildlife, crowds and security folks but nothing significant. Of course, I am a white male in America and am sure less privileged folks have harrowing stories of harassment and abuse that I have not experienced.
5PG Interviewer: You were one of the original “Cooligans” and organizer for Durham’s Art of Cool Festival. How has your involvement in the music industry affected your work?
I have been a musician and an artist my entire life. At different points, I was both an art major, studying with Herb Jackson and a voice major, studying with Donald Plott. Of course, I ended up with a philosophy degree soooo.
I never thought of myself as a people photographer. Didn’t really think it was my forte’ and subsequently didn’t do much of it. Shooting live music events and the people who attended them showed me that I was actually a pretty darn good people photographer and bringing my eye for composition to my people photography has resulted in some of my favorite photographs.