I'm setting some sort of infamous milestone by being 10 blog posts behind. I need to stop programming and start writing. To make up for it I am offering homemade gluten free oatmeal raisin zipcode cookies! Looks like someone got to the "R" before I got to my camera.
You've heard me rave before in this space about our wonderful Cassilhaus intern Rachel Boillot from the Duke MFAEDA program. She's all graduated now but back in March she had her MFA thesis show here in the gallery. Her project, called Post Scipt, explored in beautiful and sobering depth the plight of small rural communities in the South that are losing their zip codes and by extension their community identities.
It was a joy for me to get to spend so much time with Rachel and her work while the show was being developed over the months leading up to the opening. Her editing and curating process helped me to see the work and know the story so much more fully.
The show was a knockout. Not only were the prints beautiful but we mocked up a period post office lobby in the library of the gallery with old furniture and vintage post office boxes. Rachel's muse for the project was Eudora Welty, in particular her story "Why I live at the Post Office." She decided to mount quotations from her letters inside backlit vintage PO boxes to add depth to the story. I was feeling old when I had to explain to Rachel what carbon paper was :). She then used an ancient manual typewriter with carbon paper to type the text of the letters for the boxes.
The opening party was packed and filled with her classmates, family, thesis committee, and Cassilhaus regulars.
After studying photobook design with Alex and Rachel Norris Webb, Rachel produced a beautiful limited edition book of 100 copies which has nearly sold out.
Prints sold well at the opening as well. Rachel hit it out of the park and we were immensely proud to be at the game. She is off now in rural Tennessee for the summer shooting photos of the old time music community-another vanishing piece of our cultural landscape. This will not be the last we will hear from Rachel Boillot.