Kensington Blues

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SAVERY GALLERY presents Kensington Blues, the recently completed body of work by Philadelphiabased artist Jeffrey Stockbridge, in an upcoming exhibition on view May 5th - June 2nd 2017. There will be a reception for the artist and book signing on Friday, May 5th starting at 5pm. Jeffrey Stockbridge’s first solo exhibition at the gallery coincides with the publication of his book by the same name, and features several large format color photographs (shot with a 4x5 film camera) of men and women caught in the grip of drug addiction and prostitution along Kensington Avenue in North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In addition to his large framed works, Stockbridge has created a special installation for the exhibition that reveals the magnitude of his five year long documentary project. Comprised of 125 8x10 inch photographs, audio recordings, and written transcripts of interviews he conducted with his subjects, Stockbridge brings to light the personal stories behind his haunting images. This series, made between 2008 and 2014 and begun in the wake of the financial collapse, exposes one of Philadelphia’s most vulnerable populations. During the nineteenth century, Kensington was a strong working-class neighborhood, a national leader of the textile industry and home to a diverse population of immigrants. Industrial restructuring of the mid- 20th century lead to a sharp economic decline including high unemployment and a significant population loss. Today, Kensington Avenue runs three miles through what is now a dangerous and crime-ridden neighborhood infamous for drug abuse and prostitution. As the current Heroin epidemic tightens its grip across America, Stockbridge’s photographic fieldwork provides a timely and insightful look into the causes and effects of addiction bolstered by the intimate first person narratives of his subjects.

In the Artist’s words: “The focus of my work is portraiture… I am interested in how people survive the neighborhood and themselves. I ask residents to share their stories and I record the audio or have them write in my journal. The goal of my work is to enable people to relate to one-another in a fundamentally human way, despite any commonly perceived differences. I rely on the trust and sincerity of those I photograph to help me in this process.” Jeffrey Stockbridge (born 1982, Maryland) is a Philadelphia based photographer. Stockbridge graduated from Drexel University in 2005 and opened a premier fine-art printing business, S t o c k b r i d g e F i n e A r t P r i n t . Stockbridge is know for his largeformat color photographs that both document and humanize the elusive underbelly of inner city life in Philadelphia.

Exhibition Dates : May 5 - June 2 2017