Award-winning 1913 Flood Photo Exhibition at Antioch Midwest
Alumnus Andy Snow will debut ‘Then & Now’ project on campus
YELLOW SPRINGS, OH–Antioch University Midwest Alumnus Andy Snow will display his collaborative photo exhibit on the 1913 Dayton Flood beginning August 24 through October 2013 on AUM’s campus, 900 Dayton St., Yellow Springs.
There will be an opening of the exhibit on Saturday, Aug. 24 from 4 – 6 pm featuring a brief talk by Snow. He’ll also be signing copies of his book, A Flood of Memories, One Hundred Years After the Flood: Images from 1913 and Today.
Snow collaborated with the Miami Conservancy District to create an historic documentary observing the 100th anniversary of the famous flood that devastated Dayton and several other communities along the Great Miami River. His series of photos shows particular locations that flooded, gathered from hundreds of archival materials, as well as those same locations as they appear today.
“I saw it as Sherlock Holmes meets Ansel Adams: a still life from a time machine. It was hard because you first had to discover where the old photos were actually taken,” he said.
The project was originally exhibited at the Dayton Art Institute (DAI) as part of the “Storm, Watershed & Riverbank” exhibit that ran February through May 2013.
The project earned Snow the “Best of ASMP 2013” from the American Society of Media Photographers.
“I brought it to Antioch first because an Antioch employee was the first to ask me what I would be doing with the photos after the DAI exhibition ended. I hadn’t thought about it until then. So I owed it to Antioch to bring the exhibit here first, especially because I’m an AUM graduate,” Snow said.
Snow will include an educational component, which he calls “the puzzle wall,” into the AUM exhibit to engage children and adults to look beyond the obvious when matching the photos. Several unpaired photos will display on a wall section about 10-by-11-feet.
When participants figure out the appropriate matches, they can fill out a form and turn it in for a chance to win a copy of Snow’s book. The original product of the project, the book contains 70 sets of “then & now” flood photos.
“With broad interests and acute sensitivity, Snow relishes the documentarian approach and allows images to reveal themselves. He is deeply interested in the ways in which the image conveys the energy of the moment,” according to DAI’s website.
Said Snow, “There was a creative process that evolved and I began to hear angels singing – Laaaahhhh –when it did. The hair on the back of my head would stand up. There would suddenly be this moment.”
The moment is evident in a photo Snow took on a downtown Miamisburg street. The flood photo shows interurban trolleys, the transit mode of the day, crashed against a building. The new photo shows the street today with parked cars, a colorful boat on its trailer, and a passing motorcyclist: a classic ‘then and now’ opportunity that he captured on camera.
A 2005 graduate of the Individualized Masters of Arts program, Snow attributes much of his success, especially with the flood project, to AUM.
“The Antioch IMA program provided a program of study about what you want to do and want to keep doing because you can’t not do it,” he said. “It’s an obsession, but the good kind that keeps going on. Now it has given me the opportunity to give back to Antioch, which is so much about community.”
Snow will display about 30 sets of flood photos in a first floor area and on hallway walls throughout the AUM campus. Supported by the John D. Yeck Fund, Snow’s flood photos will be displayed in a two-year traveling exhibit in towns affected by the flood. Visit www.vimeo.com/60037820 to view his then & now slideshow.
History of the 1913 Flood (From the Dayton Art Institute website) “In 1913, an unusually potent winter storm system caused a weather event some researchers consider the United States’ most widespread natural disaster. Catastrophic flooding of the five rivers that converge in downtown Dayton occurred when the equivalent of three months worth of rain fell during four days in March 1913.
The DAI exhibition presented the medium of photography and the practice of photographers as it developed during the past 100 years. Historical materials, including postcards, period equipment, and glass slides, documented eight cities along the Great Miami River: Piqua, Troy, Dayton, West Carrollton, Miamisburg, Franklin, Middletown, and Hamilton. Snow captured the new images that mirror the old.”
Antioch University Midwest: Antioch University Midwest is one of the five campuses of Antioch University, an institution proud of serving adult learners and their specific needs for twenty-five years. Antioch University is a not for profit 501c3 multi-campus university of more than 4,000 students who study at the Antioch Midwest campus in Yellow Springs, OH, and at campuses in Seattle, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Keene, New Hampshire, online and around the world!
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Christopher M. Williams