Published Mon, Jan 14, 2013 9:50 am Dateline
The special exhibition Charles Mintz: Precious Objects is currently on display at the Zanesville Museum of Art.
This solo exhibition showcases 21 large-scale color photographs by Cleveland photographer Charles Mintz. Each photograph depicts someone holding a carefully chosen, "precious" object.
"Precious objects are things that people have had a long time that have some special meaning because of how they got them, who gave the things to them and/or how they have meaning today," said Mintz.
The photographer requested that each person compose a sentence or two about their choice. The exhibition includes these statements.
On Saturday, Jan. 19 at 2 p.m., Mintz will present an artist talk, "A Visual Journey by Charles J. Mintz," describing several photography projects he has undertaken since becoming a full-time photographer in 2008.
The talk will be followed by a reception from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. The talk and reception are free and open to the public.
On Saturday, Feb. 9, Mintz will speak again, specifically about the photographs in the current exhibition. This talk, "The Precious Object Project," will be followed by a book signing. Mintz’s new book, Precious Objects, is available in the Museum Gift Shop.
The photographer was originally interested in the importance of objects in our consumer culture. He wanted to see and photograph what kinds of objects people cherished most. Their choices surprised him.
Mintz photographed 175 people, beginning with family and friends, and then strangers in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Manhasset, Hempstead, Columbus and Beachwood.
Each person was instructed to bring their most prized possession; after being photographed, they wrote a brief explanation concerning their choice.
Many chose small articles from their past, their vocations, or objects given to them from people they have loved.
Mintz says that the images are not about what he thinks, about his artistic philosophy, or even about the chosen objects.
"The subjects are telling their own stories….having the integrity and courage to share their most intimate feelings with strangers. In doing so, they allow us to better know what it is to be human," he said.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Museum Director Susan Talbot-Stanaway will offer a slide talk on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 2 p.m. to 2:40 p.m. The talk is entitled, "What Does a Portrait Say?," and it will discuss aspects of portraiture in art history.
Charles Mintz: Precious Objects closes on Feb. 23, 2013. Visit www.zanesvilleart.org for more information.