Toward the end of last summer, I took to the streets of my hometown for a solo photo walk.
I make lots of pictures of Jackson, but I hadn’t headed downtown with the intent to make a series in a while. With summer ending, and the light changing, I figured the hour near sunset would be fun to capture.
While downtown Jackson is on the upswing – lots of new restaurants, the brewery is booming, the road project is mostly done – you still feel like (as my grandmother would say) you could shoot a canon ball down Michigan Ave. after 5 p.m. and not hit a soul. The hope is that’ll change in time.
Here’s the first in a series of city photos focusing on Jackson, Michigan’s few downtown blocks.
My portrait project, Artists In Jackson, helped me to achieve one of my life goals: to make a book.
It was self published. And it was a small-time deal. But I got to see my name on a hard-cover book where I wrote the text, designed the layout, and made the photographs.
Arts & Cultural Alliance of Jackson County is sponsoring a book publishing forum featuring local Jackson, Michigan, authors – including me! – on Thursday, Feb. 16 at the Ella Sharp Museum. We’ll talk about our publishing experience, answer questions, and give tips to get others to publish their material. You should come!
My little book is a self-publishing story, but I’m sharing the stage with authors who have completed much bigger and more well-known book projects. It should be fun.
With all the tools at our disposal, it’s never been easier to publish your passion project. I hope to encourage more artists and writers to make a physical thing and get their ideas out into the world.
If you’re a Jackson native, and you haven’t been to Schlenker’s for a hamburger, shame on you.
While I’m partial to the burgers at West Point Lounge, on the West side of town, a stop into Schlenker’s is never wasted.
Good, old-fashioned hamburgers and fries.
I do miss my daily commute into Albion, if only for the chance to stop and capture the seasons.
Taken last February: a wintry scene along the Kalamazoo River.
As I plan for my next portrait project, the idea of renting a studio space keeps popping up. Wouldn’t it be nice to have my own dedicated creative space, instead of relying on environmental portraits at other people’s studios or homes?
So I started shopping around, and asking friends and colleagues about potential studios.
The kicker is the set of conditions I’ve set on myself: strong window light, with an east or west-facing window, semi-centrally located in Jackson (for easy access), plenty of wiggle room for materials, and convenient availability to fit my work and family schedule. I’ve seen a few places around town that fit the bill, but another complication is that I’ll only need the space for a month or two. If I rent, I’m not sure how many landlords would be up for a 60 day lease.
But we’ll see. I’m starting to make phone calls and get my bearings. It’s a whole new world.
Harbor Springs, Michigan