Thursday, December 13, 2012

UPPER VALLEY: "The Way We Worked" at AVA

The Way We Worked: A Smithsonian Exhibition Exploring the American Workforce 
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 15, 3-5 pm
AVA Gallery and Art Center
Exhibit runs: December 15, 2012 – January 27, 2013
(See below for hours)

"The Way We Worked," is a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition that uses historical photographs, archival accounts and interactive components to trace the nation's changing workforce and work environments over the last 150 years. The exhibit, which explores how work has become a central element in American culture, will be on display through January 27, 2013 at AVA Gallery and Art Center. New work by Vermont photographer Jack Rowell enhances the exhibit with a local connection to Lebanon's history as a mill town.

Every organization throughout the United States that hosts The Way We Worked has been encouraged to amplify the exhibition with displays and information plays about the history of work in their local community.

Lebanon has a long and distinct history as a mill town, and AVA Gallery and Art Center’s Carter-Kelsey building at 11 Bank Street, formerly H.W. Carter & Sons overall factory, provides a fitting venue for an exhibition of this nature.

While at AVA, The Way We Worked will be augmented with items and photographs focusing on local work history, and most specifically on the manufacturing past of the Carter factory, which for more than a century, until it closed in 1985, was known nationwide for its production of work clothes. Images of former Carter factory workers and relatives of owners and managers, recently taken by noted photographer Jack Rowell, will be on display; items on loan from Lebanon Historical Society will also be on exhibit.

Eugene Dauphinais presses pants at H.W. Carter & Sons

Eugene Dauphinais (2012) photo by Jack Rowell
Adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives and Records Administration, "The Way We Worked" traces changes that have affected the workforce and work environment over the past 150 years, including the growth of manufacturing and increasing use of technology. It draws from the Archives’ collections, including historical photographs and archival accounts of workers, and makes use of film, audio and interactive components to tell the compelling story of how work impacts our individual lives and the historical and cultural fabric of our communities.

The exhibit examines the effects of industrialization, urbanization, immigration, labor unrest, wars and economic depression on ordinary working Americans, and exhibition section titles include: Why We Work, How We Worked, Where We Worked, Who Works.

Throughout January 2013, a number of programs related to the theme of The Way We Worked will also take place at AVA.

Ms. Follensbee (2012) photo by Jack Rowell

(1) From "The Way We Worked" exhibit. No further attribution.
(2) Eugene Dauphinais presses pants at the H.W. Carter & Sons factory where he worked for more than 38 years until it closed in 1985. Courtesy of Eugene Dauphinais, AVA Gallery and Art Center.
(3) Eugene Dauphinais portrait (2012) by photographer Jack Rowell.
(4) Ms. Follensbee portrait (2012) by photographer Jack Rowell.

About Jack Rowell
A 5th generation Vermonter, Jack Rowell was born and raised in Central Vermont and has been a professional photographer for over 30 years making a living shooting documentary, commercial and advertising photographs. His  work has been published nationally and internationally in publications such as People Weekly, London Independent, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Economist, and the Times of London.

Rowell has had successful one man exhibitions at the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH); AVA Art Center (Lebanon, NH); The Governor’s Reception Area (Montpelier, VT); and the Main Street Museum of Art (White River Junction, VT). Since 1992 he has worked as Associate Producer on the feature films “Man With A Plan” and “Nosey Parker.” In addition Rowell is an enthusiastic and experienced angler with extensive contacts in the hunting and fishing communities.

“It is Rowell's heart that grants him entree into his subjects' worlds.  He is welcomed there by virtue of a compassion that is evident in what he sees.” - William Craig, art review

Jack Rowell, Photographer

65 Fogey St.
Braintree, VT 05060
(802) 728-5708

About AVA Gallery and Art Center
AVA Gallery and Art Center (Alliance for the Visual Art) is dedicated to promoting the visual arts through exhibitions and educational programs that nurture, support and challenge New England artists, and to providing art classes for children, teens and adults of all levels and abilities.  AVA’s programs—including special events that foster interaction among artists, patrons of the arts and the community, and which emphasize sustainability— are dedicated to recognizing the ways in which art enriches our lives.
Scholarship, internship and volunteer opportunities are integral to AVA’s programming.

AVA Gallery and Art Center/Alliance for the Visual Arts
11 Bank Street (right off Colburn Park)
Lebanon, NH
Contact: Bente Torjusen, Executive Director

Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 11AM to 5PM
Thursdays from 11AM to 7PM
and by appointment
Closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Admission is free, and the gallery is accessible to the handicapped.

The Way We Worked is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). Historic New England is partnering with SITES for its Museum on Main Street (MoMS) initiative to host this exhibition throughout New England. This national/state/local partnership is designed to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. Support for MoMS has been provided by the United States Congress.

AVA is one of three New Hampshire organizations expressly chosen by the New Hampshire Humanities Council to host The Way We Worked; this statewide tour is made possible by Historic New England and the New Hampshire Humanities Council.  AVA is the final stop in the state before the exhibit travels to Maine.

Local support for The Way We Worked and related programs at AVA has been provided by Mascoma Savings Bank.