Tuesday, December 6, 2011

a first place photo finish and James


I have recounted the saga of meeting James, the homeless fellow in this photograph, about a year and a half ago, and how, after photographing him, we have become friends-of-sorts. That is, he is homeless and is hard, at times, to locate, and he has accepted my attention/compadreship on his limited, if not wary, terms.

Several of the photographs I took of him have morphed into some of my art and have been in exhibits and shows, one of which James attended.

He was pleased.

Last night this photo was awarded overall first place in the first annual Community Memorial Hospital Open Art Competition. The announcement literally took my breath away, and fortunately the presenter did all the talking.

I have written (some might say ad nauseum) about my fascination with the quality of line in art, and in my work, and it is this quality the juror singled out. Together with the interplay of light and dark, both the lines and light in the weathered tabletop and James' weathered skin caught her attention.

I was pleased.

Last week, I found James again after searching for about six months. He had moved away from the park where he had stayed for years, and now has told me how to find him in his new locale, a variety of spots spanning several blocks.

He had a good Thanksgiving, and his birthday was the next day. He jokingly says he is 38. I reminded him that last year he said he was turning 30. Caught in this little inconsistency, he smiled when I told him I knew his actual age was 58, based on some papers he had filled out to sign up for health care. He knows I know. Nevertheless, he likes the little age-altering joke we share.

We both are pleased with that.


Jamie Fingal said...

Congratulations Pam! Great news! So well deserved. The photo is amazing. I think it is totally cool that you actually follow up with him. An artist with compassion is a great thing. I am very happy for your accomplishment!

Pamela Price Klebaum said...

Jamie, thank you. I am lucky all 'round.

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