The buildings of the Cambridge State Hospital had a few remnants of signage that I had never seen before. I heard them referred to as "Bliss symbols". My understanding was that the symbols were used as an additional way of communicating with clients who couldn't read. I most often saw them labeling sinks and bathrooms and other commonly used spaces.
I just recently heard an episode of WNYC's Radiolab that contained a segment about these symbols created by Charles Bliss. There is a much more complicated story behind them than I expected and they were created with much grander ambitions in mind. I thought it was a pretty interesting story.
The Radiolab segment is located at http://www.radiolab.org/story/257194-man-became-bliss/ . The segment about Charles Bliss begins at about 5:30 into the stream on the page.
In March of 2011, I was awarded an Artist's Initiative Grant by the Minnesota State Arts Board to complete a photographic book of the Cambridge State Hospital series. I have been working since then to digitize a large number of the 4x5 negatives, correct the scanned photographs, and then attempt to edit the series into a cohesive body of work. I am currently looking into on-demand printing services and hope to have things ready to do a test pressing within the next 4-6 weeks.
I will also be upgrading the website to reflect the new, improved images I've been working on, such as this one.
These are a few photos from a portrait series that I shot for Minneapolis filmmaker Jon Thomas. The photographs were used in his short film "Photos & Drawings" as the artwork created by one of the main characters, who is a photographer. More about the film can be found at http://photosanddrawings.blogspot.com/
Some highlights from a recent trip to the Northwest : Olympic National Park, foraged Chanterelle Mushroom, Lake Crescent Lodge, pears in the Hood River Valley and a beach on the Pacific.
I just got done shooting a lovely wedding up in Duluth, Minnesota. The couple got married in the Sacred Heart Music Center, an old Catholic cathedral that has been converted into a nonprofit music space. We took some of the portraits further up the hill, near Enger Tower. These are a few highlights.
Glacial Lakes State Park, Minnesota. On a clear night, with a bright moon and a strong wind.