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Award-winning photographer from Ground Zero to speak at ASU

November 04, 2009

In an image-focused world, we are all photographers, says Joel Meyerowitz, acclaimed photographer who gained unlimited access to Ground Zero to create a record in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attack.

Meyerowitz will give the public a fascinating “Look Behind the Lens” at a free presentation at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19 in Katzin Concert Hall in the Music Building, Arizona State University Tempe campus, as the 2009 Flinn Foundation Centennial Lecturer.  

As an award-winning artist and Guggenheim Fellow, his work has appeared in more than 350 galleries and museums around the world. He is the author of 16 books, including “Cape Light,” considered a classic work of color photography.

In his programs, Meyerowitz often shares selections of audience photography along with some of his own work, to illustrate the increasingly blurred lines between professional and amateur photography. 

Tickets for the free event are available at the front office of Barrett, the Honors College, and also a limited number at the door. Meyerowitz will be at ASU all week, speaking to photojournalism and honors classes, and to the student photo club.

His book, “Aftermath: the World Trade Center Archive,” features 400 images as well as an engaging account of his experience during recovery efforts. Through persistence and determination, he was the only photographer given access to the site. An exhibit from the archive has traveled to more than 200 cities in 60 countries. 

In the latest phase of his career Meyerowitz turned his lens onto nature, commissioned by the city of New York to document, interpret and celebrate one of the city’s greatest legacies: nearly 29,000 acres of parks. The resulting 90 photographs are now on view in an exhibition and accompanying book, “Legacy:  the Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks,” in the Museum of the City of New York

Through a stunningly rich archive of parks, shorelines and forests, his exhibit transports the viewer into the heart of a lush wilderness which is a key part of New York City life. 

Meyerowitz is a street photographer who began photographing in color in 1962 and was an early advocate of the use of color during a time when there was significant resistance to the idea of color photography as serious art. He graduated from Ohio State University in 1959 with a degree in painting and medical illustration but took to the streets with a camera shortly thereafter.

His talk is presented by Barrett, the Honors College. This is the 20th year for the annual lecture which was established by an endowment from the Flinn Foundation, to bring some of the world’s most influential intellects to campus. 

The ASU Music Building is at Gammage Parkway and Mill Avenue. Parking is available in ASU’s lot 16, at the southeast corner of Mill and University.