Mary Ellen Mark Goes to Prom
Art of Life — Produced by Karen Smyles
Chapter 1 — From Hollywood insiders to Florida retirees, much of Mary Ellen Mark’s work explores the many facets of American culture. In her latest collection of photographs, Mark captures a quintessential adolescent experience, the American prom. Depicting youth at the outset of the 21st century, Prom presents 60 black and white photographs of teens in festive dress at their most anticipated event of the year. Taken at 13 high school formals across the country between 2006 and 2009, Mark’s pictures represent not only geographic and demographic diversity, but a broad spectrum of relationships, body types, and aspirations. The exhibition also includes a 33-minute video entitled “Prom,” made by Mark’s husband, filmmaker Martin Bell, which captures interviews with many of the photographed subjects, bringing their voices and thoughts into contact with their pictures. The exhibit will be at The Philadelphia Museum of Art thru October 28th, 2012.
Friday Arts spoke with Mary Ellen Mark in July 2012 when she was here to promote Prom at the opening of the exhibit. This exhibit is especially significant to Mark because she lived and grew up in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. Mark shares with us how her own prom picture from Cheltenham High helped inspire her work on this book. We also learn how her experience working with many great filmmakers impacted her career as a photographer.
Art of Food — Produced by Monica Rogozinski
Chapter 2 — Previously a successful bond trader, Dean Carlson has met the green revolution head-on with a sustainable farm that boasts a polyculture of livestock free from hormones or antibiotics. The heritage breeds of cows and pigs have a superior taste and texture compared to supermarket meats, proving that Wyebrook Farm always favors a better product over large-scale production. The farm itself is over 200 years old and now spans roughly 355 acres with a market, butcher shop, and cafe in addition to solar panels and other green technology. Carlson’s inspiring commitment to sustainable agriculture has brought new life to Chester County and now leads the way for residents and visitors alike to make healthier, greener choices in both their diets and their daily lives.
The Bachelor Project
Art — Produced by Michael O’Reilly
Chapter 3 — Justyna Badach is a photographer working on a photographic series about bachelors. These are not pictures of your typical “Marlboro-man” bachelors; instead, these photographs reveal men that can be flawed and vulnerable, and above all, real individuals. Each photo is accompanied by text which provides as much focus and clarity about each subject as the photograph itself. Many of the portraits are of bachelors from Philadelphia, where she makes her home with her husband.