December 25th, 2011, I had decided to take my photography more seriously, to deep dive into it and to follow the journey. I went to Paul Henry's Art Gallery the following Tuesday, December 27th. I had just heard about the art gallery and thought I would stop in to check it out and hopefully be allowed to take some photographs of the incredible structure I had passed many times to and from work.
I went in. Not knowing anything about the place it started as intimidating just to open the back door. As soon as I peaked in, my love of history kicked in. So many cool things to photograph. As I moved past the door I peeked to the left through another door opening and saw a gentlemen sitting at a table, basically in the middle of open area. He was busy on his laptop, yet took the time to look up, smile, and welcome me. I told him I was interested in photographing his establishment, and he said go right ahead. He introduced me to a piece of art made by Sophia Rapata that caught my attention, then stated that if I wanted to know anything about the artists that he would be more than happy to tell me. He saw the look in my eye of "wow", and let me cruise the building to take photographs, without escort or further discussions. He knew right away that was the best way for me. For me to take it all in at my own pace.
After I walked around and took some photos, we talked a bit, and he made mention to come back on Thursday for their pre-New Years Eve party. A weekly Thursday night acoustical jam that takes place, with a special emphasis on New Years Eve. That night, that event, with my little cheap ass camera (though at that time $300), began my journey of photographing people and musicians.
That opportunity and invite to come back to photograph opened so many doors along my journey. Towle Theater and Second City quickly became my scene to photograph, followed by live bands, nature, models, you name it.
So, this Thursday 11 years ago became my start, at the 69th JAM to what is now the 473rd JAM.
A little side note. One of the JAMs that first year, the Towle Youth Theater Ensemble came over after their rehearsal. They signed up to sing some music to us. Who caught my attention, showing a lot of talent and a lot of confidence, was Haley. Well, Haley was there this evening to perform in front of us again. Thank you, Haley!
More Thursday night acoustic JAMs are planned. Entrance money has gone up to cover costs, to $10. This is discounted if you are going to perform or if you bring food to share with others. The pot luck table rules have changed though. If you bring an item it must be individually "pre-packaged" for consumption. No more open pot luck take what you want from the same container. So, please be mindful of this with respect to others who attend.
Here are some photographs of the evening. Don't forget to check out 219 Art and 219 Music noted at the end of this blog. Enjoy!
"Weigh Your Blessings"
"Paint Shop Blues"
(or grays, reds, yellows . . .)
Paul Henry's Art Gallery
416 Sibley St.
Hammond, IN 46329
(phone ahead to confirm times, or to make an appointment)
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