By John Simmons and Frank Stewart
ABOUT THE EXHIBIT
Time Light and Ritual
Time, Light and Ritual is an upcoming photography exhibit with work by Frank Stewart and John Simmons. The coming together of two life-long friends that picked up cameras in their early teens. Both have dedicated decades to telling the story of their lives through the lens of a camera. Frank grew up in Chicago and New York and his life in the music and art world gave him the opportunity to see and share our culture through a visual style all his own. John grew up in Chicago and spent a considerable amount of time in the southern states of our country. Both photographers are world travelers and their styles are as individual as a fingerprint. Time Light and Ritual is what they both live, it is a cultural experience that embraces humanity with sincerity and warmth.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER
John Simmons -"I was born in Chicago, on the south side of the city, in 1950. From an early age I had a passion for the arts. I spent time painting, drawing and knowing that somewhere there was a purpose, a path, something out there that was pulling me. I even tried playing the saxophone. In 1965 I cracked open The Sweet Flypaper of Life by Langston Hughes with photographs by Roy DeCarava. Bobby Sengstacke, my best friend Louie’s big brother, gave it to me. Bobby, an incredible photographer, took me under his wing and showed" "me the way. I worked in the darkroom of The Chicago Defender newspaper, the oldest black newspaper in the country. It wasn’t long before I was shooting assignments. I was""16 years old." "Turned on by the photographs of Gordon Park, Cartier Bresson, Dorthea Lang, Arthur Bedou and James Van Der Zee, just to name a few I knew that putting a frame around the life I lived and the things I saw was more important than anything else in my world." "My photographs earned me a President’s scholarship to Fisk University where I studied art painting and shot pictures everyday. Film director, writer and historian Carlton Moss taught a film class at Fisk. When he saw my pictures and he said, “Simmons, you’re a cinematographer.”" "I received a Master’s degree from the University of Southern California in 1973 in cinematography. I’ve been a working cinematographer ever since. I am a member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), as well as, a teacher of cinematography at UCLA."
"Everyday I carry a camera and continue to capture an undisturbed look at things I see. It is these frozen moments in time that for one second say so much about who we are. It all started in the ’60s."
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Frank Stewart grew up in Memphis and Chicago. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago and received a BFA in photography from Cooper Union in New York. Mr. Stewart has had numerous one-man and group shows at The High Museum, Cooper Union Gallery, Washington Project for the Arts, Studio Museum in Harlem, Schomburg Center for Research, the International Center of Photography, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. He was a member of the first team of North American journalists invited by the Center for Cuban Studies to visit Cuba in 1977. He was also invited by the Los Angeles Olympic Committee to photographthe 1984 Olympic games. He has twice been granted a photographic fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a New York Creative Artist Public Service Award. He has also been a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow. His books include ROMARE BEARDEN: Photographs by Frank Stewart, published by Pomegranate Communications Inc., and, with Simon & Schuster, The Sweet Breath of Life: A Poetic Narrative of the African American Family, poems by Ntozake Shange, photographs edited by Frank Stewart, photographs by Kamoinge, Inc.. Ferrar, Straus & Giroux has published Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country, written by Lolis Eric Elie with photographs by Frank Stewart and WW Norton, Sweet Swing Blues on the Road, written by Wynton Marsalis, with photographs by Frank Stewart. Mr. Stewart currently serves as Senior Staff Photographer for Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Exhibition dates: Sunday 4, June 2017 to Saturday 29, July 2017