We recently held our second installment of our Photography Tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and to all those who participated in the photo contest, we salute you! Not only were the submissions diverse and vibrant, but we had over 50 entries! Three winning photos will be chosen next week by Yard-based artist Thomas Witte. In next week’s blog post we’ll highlight the winners, but for now I want to share some insight and excellent news about our celebrity judge.
Upon speaking with Thomas last week, I learned a few things about the role that photography plays in his work (which I began to discuss in my previous post). Thomas’s grandfather was a surgeon who caught the photography bug. Back in the days before digital, his grandfather would shoot and develop hundreds of slides, and they have become the basis for much of Thomas’ art. Just recently, while preparing for an upcoming Arts for Transit installation, he trekked into Grand Central Terminal with his dad, who also happens do be a photographer. With the younger Witte directing the elder, the tripod was strategically placed, photos clicked, and the scenes were cemented in time. These purpose-shot images will become part of a four-artist installation utilizing 16 large light boxes in Grand Central’s lower dining area. Thomas will use the images as the material for large, dark stencils that will silhouette against the backlit boxes (see more of his stencil work here). The stenciling will demand surgeon-like precision (it must run in the family!), and the results should be stunning.
As is literally the case in his art, Witte views photographs as a means to an end – beyond the typical use of photos to preserve family history, he uses the process of photography to connect generations of family members. By using family photos and historical images in the creation of his work, he creates art that transcends his own personal story and holds meaning for a broader audience. For this reason, we here at Turnstile Tours identify with Thomas Witte, and relish this chance to share a glimpse into his world.
In addition to his upcoming installation at Grand Central, Thomas will have work showing at the Pulse New York art fair, May 9–12, and on May 9, he is opening a collaborative show with his brother at the Rivington Design House called “The Women of Drag” – the show will run from 6–8pm, and we hope you’ll consider coming out to meet Thomas. I know I will.
Below are all of the 51 beautiful submissions to our photo contest. If you have an Instagram account on your phone or tablet, you can find the submissions under #turnstilespringtour, or in this gallery. Feel free to comment or “like” any or all of these beauties.
Thank you again to all of the tour participants. Be sure to join us for our next photography tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard on Saturday, June 20, view the submissions and winners from our winter installment, and read about the great prizes we have for our contest winners.
Turnstile Tours offers the Seasonal Photography Tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard four times throughout the year – please visit our tour page for tickets and information. The tours will be offered Saturdays on July 20 and October 19, 2013, at 11am. Advance ticket purchases are recommended. We also offer our Overview Tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard every Saturday and Sunday at 2:30pm, and other special themed tours of the yard. All tours begin at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at Building 92, which offers free admission to three floors of exhibitions on the yard’s history, the Ted & Honey rooftop café, and a host of great special events and programs.
This post was authored by Rich Garr, manager of our Seasonal Photography Tours of the Brooklyn Navy Yard.