“The nearest memory of being fashion conscious was in fourth grade leaving in Baltimore, my birthplace. In the 1950s, the fashion rage was the Joe College look — a button-down shirt, the sleeveless sweater vest and chino pants with a buckle in the back — yes, a buckle-in-the-back! — worn with black-and-white saddle shoes or penny loafers.”Read More
“With today’s mobile phones and computer tablets, people are being left alone to their own devices.”
The subject struck my funny bone, and I just happened to be there as a “street photographer.”Read More
Mark Chester Interviewed by Paul Falcone for Wellesley Media
The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape, Photographs of New Americans at the Wellesley Free Library July and August 2018.
The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape enjoyed its winter stay at The House of Seven Gables in Salem.
Read more about the exhibit in the excellent piece by Terry Date in the Salem News:
Chester found Fitzroy Alexander, 54, at a ceremony at the Immigrant Learning Center Inc. in Malden, where he was recognized as the Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014.
Alexander came to the U.S. at 16 years old and became a citizen 25 years ago. He’s the owner of Traditional Breads Inc., in Lynn, and employs 150 people.
Alexander said America means opportunity for those who work hard.
“It’s a land of opportunity — if you put your mind to it, anything is possible,” he said.
Alexander said he is biased toward Chester, a friend, and he holds Chester’s photo project in high esteem.
“I applaud it — having the stamina and integrity to really portray that person how he sees them,” Alexander said.
D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield Museums
March 22, 2016–September 25, 2016
"Black and white photography, also known as ‘monochrome’ photography, originated during the mid-nineteenth century and has pervaded to this day, particularly within the genre of documentary photography. This exhibit, drawn from the permanent collection of the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, explores the documentary photography genre, juxtaposed with the special exhibit, Photo-Secession: Painterly Masterworks of turn-of-the-Century Photography. Photography critic in the 1970s, John Szarkowski, distilled images down to two categories, “mirrors and windows” stating that “mirrors reveal information about the artist while windows tell more about the world.” This exhibit exemplifies his philosophy and underscores the impact of black and white which elevates a picture beyond simply being “news”; monochrome photography has the power to suggest cultural and critical significance."
The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape — Photographs of New Americans by Mark Chester was introduced in the Scandinavian Cultural Center's Nordic Hall to a diverse group, some in attendance participants in the project and others observers. The photographer, introduced by the SCC's cultural director, Christina Mealy, spoke of his inspiration and his mission to amass portraits of naturalized US citizens from the many countries of the world who reside in Massachusetts, for a book and exhibition, an example on display in the hall, that, with the book's publication, will launch at the New Bedford Art Museum. Three of the portrait subjects were invited up to the podium and each spoke movingly of the work and reasons for being involved.
Westy Egmont, Boston College professor and director of BC's Immigrant Integration Lab then gave an informative talk "exploring the history and current story of those who started life again in the States and made America the 'nation of nations' we know," entitled “Up the Golden Stairs: Dreams of Being American”.