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National Building Museum Exhibition Reveals a Different Side of the Built Environment
Concord, Bronx, New York, 2004. Una Luz en el Camino, mural by Hermano Peralta. Camilo José Vergara, courtesy of the National Building Museum.
WASHINGTON, DC.- Photographs can provoke, engage, awe, and in some cases inspire an audience to consider the built environment in unexpected ways. In 2009, the National Building Museum presents three photography exhibitions featuring the work of Richard Ross, Camilo José Vergara, and Philip Trager. All three may be broadly defined as architectural photographers, but each brings a unique focus to buildings we might have thought we knew. With this series of exhibitions, the National Building Museum broadens the definition of architectural photography and shares with audiences the scope and breadth of what photographs of buildings can do and mean.

Storefront Churches: Photographs by Camilo José Vergara narrates Vergara’s 30-year exploration of the unassuming buildings that offer a place of worship in some of the poorest urban neighborhoods in the United States. These visually arresting color photographs of former storefronts—and homes, garages, factories, and warehouses—that have been remade into churches tell a story of faith and resourcefulness in places that have little else. Vergara was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2002 and is undoubtedly one of the nation’s foremost urban documentarians. Storefront Churches marks the Museum’s fourth collaboration with Vergara and will be on view through November 29, 2009.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Vergara will participate in the Museum’s summer outreach program, Investigating Where We Live (IWWL), which empowers middle and high school students to explore and interpret city neighborhoods through photography, interviews, and creative writing. Now in its 14th year, IWWL was actually inspired by Vergara’s 1996 exhibition at the Museum, The New American Ghetto: Photographs by Camilo José Vergara. Vergara will also give a public lecture this November on his work in conjunction with FotoWeek DC 2009.

National Building Museum | Camilo José Vergara | Churches |  |


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June 22, 2009

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