Event Types: Gallery | Studio

picturing waterville

photographs by gary green + images from the waterville historical society.
may 24 – july 1, 2017
opening reception: may 25, 5:00 – 7:00pm

Common Street Arts, a program of Waterville Creates!, is pleased to present, Picturing Waterville, an arrangement of contemporary and historical photographs that considers the central theme of the built environment within the city of Waterville. These images offer a moment to reflect on Waterville by considering its architecture, landscape, revitalization, construction and urban renewal from the 19th century to the present day.

The City of Waterville has recently undertaken initiatives to reimagine its streetscape, its downtown, and its economy and is on the verge of major changes that will significantly alter the downtown landscape. In this exhibition, Common Street Arts has brought together the photographs of Gary Green, Associate Professor of Art at Colby College, with a collection of documentary and vernacular images of Waterville. This combined presentation offers a range of perspectives on Waterville’s past and its recent transformation, pointing to a hopeful future. Picturing Waterville invites the viewer to consider the impact, challenges, and opportunities presented by a changing Waterville. It also provides space for reflection on Waterville’s history, current changes underway, and emerging possibilities for the future.

Gary Green’s large photographic series, Elm City, comprises several smaller groups of photographs that look at Waterville through its undeveloped and changing spaces, the facades of its neighborhoods and downtown, and the interiors of buildings that have long passed their usefulness. Building to an epilogue that considers the recasting of certain important structures—Levines Department Store becoming a boutique hotel, Judy’s Wig Shop an up-to-date retail space—the work invites viewers to consider the difficulty of planning the urban landscape when outside circumstances such as widespread change in manufacturing trends and a national recession challenge any small city’s ability to keep the city relevant and functional. Green began the series in 2008 and continues to add to its narrative as this show is being planned.

The Waterville Historical Society collects, catalogues and preserves historical documents, photographs, and biographical materials related to the history of Waterville. Through the programs of the its Redington Museum, the Society presents community events and exhibitions designed to promote and preserve Waterville’s cultural and historic legacy.

This exhibition is designed to increase ongoing collaborative initiatives with our cultural partners and provide accessible and creative programming for residents and visitors to the State. The associated public programs are designed to encourage broad participation and engagement throughout the greater Waterville community. Waterville Creates! would like to extend its deep appreciation to the many organizations who collaborated to realize this exhibition and its associated programming: Waterville Public Library, Waterville Historical Society, Colby College and its Museum of Art, Library, Special Collections, Art Department, and Center for the Arts + Humanities. Special thanks to the Harold Alfond Foundation for their continued support of Waterville Creates! And its community partners.