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BPC Neighborhood Project

Posted by Teresa Hanafin  September 24, 2008 05:27 PM

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Canoes by Mary Schiess
Taken from a new Dorchester park, accessed from Granite Ave., that provides canoe and kayak access to the water.

RAW reader Mary Schiess recently told us about a project she's involved with: Taking photos in Boston neighborhoods under the auspices of the Boston Photography Center. She put us in touch with Katherine Kominis, assistant organizer at the center. Since our contest theme this month is "My Neighborhood", Kat (yeah, we're e-mail buddies now) readily agreed to share some of the photos with us.

She describes the project:

"The Neighborhood Project is a collaborative multi-neighborhood project of the Boston Photography Center, shot by several photographers. To our knowledge, this is the first time that a collaborative project of many Boston neighborhoods has been undertaken.

"Our documentary project is to record unique aspects of each neighborhood, incorporating the residents' views and experiences when possible. Some themes used as unifying concepts are the historic architecture of Roxbury; the community groups of Dorchester; young, new residents, and longtime dwellers of Charlestown; the downtown businesses of Roslindale, and the social groups formed in the North End.

"As the project continues, we hope to shoot all the neighborhoods of Boston, to record what is unique and true about each of our city's 'villages'.

"Our first group exhibition will be an online link from our home page, followed by both small and group exhibitions in the neighborhoods we've photographed.

"Here are our photographers' pictures and their descriptions of each photo."


Mary Schiess's photo project, including the Canoes photo above, is on Dorchester's community / civic improvement groups. Mary lives in Duxbury, but has Dorchester/South Boston roots.

Plant by Mary Schiess
This photo depicts a member of the "Roots and Shoots" group that provided plants for the Wainwright Park Spruce Up project.


Jonathan Fine of Brookline is an amateur photographer and occupational therapist for the Boston Public Schools. His photo project is Roxbury's architecture.

Cox Building
Cox Building
G.D. Cox, a developer, built the Cox Building in 1870. It housed stores on the first floor and hotel rooms on the other floors. Today it serves as an office building. The semicircular design is striking because of its uniqueness.
Mission Church
Mission Church
Mission Church, built in 1877, also is known as the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Today, it still serves as a church. This shot juxtaposes the majestic quality of the stone structure with the graffiti of modern urban life.


Tamara Johnson, originally from Houston, lives in Charlestown and is focusing (so to speak) on what's new about her adopted hometown, as well as the people who live there. She's a business development manager at OHO Interactive, and attends the Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University for photography.

Zakim Bridge
The Zakim Bridge
This shot of the Zakim Bridge was taken from Paul Revere Park in Charlestown. I love how quiet and calm it felt for that time of the evening. This image represents the new part of Charlestown.
Camera info: Nikon D200, 18-200mm VR lens at 18mm, ISO 100, 5 secs at f/10.
Elderly Couple on the Charlestown Common
Elderly Couple on the Charlestown Common
On a few occasions, I have had the opportunity to watch this gentleman take his wife to the park as he does every day. In so many ways, they represent the rich history of Charlestown. They have lived in Charlestown for 58 years.
Camera info: Nikon D200, 18-200 VR lens at 31mm, ISO 400, 1/80 sec at f/16.


Katherine writes: "These photos are of the North End, shot by three photographers in a collaborative project. Our theme is on the groups that people form: social, political, and religious groups. The photos also reflect their views of how the North End is unique, and what is both good and bad about it. We also shot photos of the 'old and new', which is exemplified by the photo of construction cranes over the old buildings."

Katherine Kominis is a Brookline resident and amateur photographer. Both of these photos were shot with a Nikon D70.

Man Reading
Man Reading on a Sunday Afternoon
Modern Pastry
The Modern Pastry Shop with street scene


Linda Williamson of Westford is a professional photographer.

Polcari's store and street scene
Crane over North End street


Dominique Kim, an amateur photographer, lives in Brookline.

North End Council
North End Waterfront Neighborhood Council meeting


Many thanks to the Boston Photography Center for sharing some photos from its Neighborhood Project with us. Be sure to keep checking the center's site for the full display of the project (and maybe Katherine can let us know when it's posted so we can make note of it on RAW).

If these photos have inspired you to shoot some pics around your neighborhood -- or another neighborhood -- just enter our contest here. Or look over all the September contest photos submitted so far.

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