Amy Fortier, artistic director of Ballet Misha (and friend), asked me a few weeks ago to create promotional photographs for her upcoming performances with ArtFront, a new arts organization in New Hampshire. Her performative element of the exhibit would be made in and around the work of sculptors Vivian Beer and Christina Pitsch, and she wanted photographs to reflect that.
Moving their works into Amy’s (ground floor) dance studio was a far easier option than moving them into my (second floor) studio, so I moved my photo gear into her space for the weekend. The process was uniquely collaborative: Amy and Vivian directed the dancers, making suggestions and adjusting positions, while viewing the photographic results nearly in real-time on my laptop monitor. Working without a mirror, the dancers would also run back to check the screen and make mental notes about changes to be made. All of us had an intensity of focus, bringing to bear our own individual aesthetic visions and artistic skills on this moment, but creating something together, in concert, that would have been impossible to make otherwise.
We had initially planned for a day-long session, but, as efficiently as we worked, we knew by mid-afternoon that we’d be returning the next day. As with all good things, though, no one complained about the time and effort required to make these. That everyone--artists working at very high levels in their respective fields--involved expressed such enthusiasm about the final product is gratifying and humbling.
ArtFront’s inaugural exhibition will be held on March 23-25 in downtown Manchester.