One of my favorite aspects of our neighborhood is the ability to constantly discover something new. For the last several months, I've been dating a Bed-Stuy resident, which has given me an occasional reason to walk or drive east down Gates Ave. I've often been stopped in my tracks by this insanely awesome standalone mansion that sits on its own pristine lot. I never have a camera with me, and I always forget to come back with one.
Yesterday, I received an email from the PACC about a photography show being held there. Finally! Some answers! I did some research.
Seems the PACC took over the house and created a living space for critically ill neighborhood residents who are working towards independent living. PACC has done an amazing job at restoring old homes in the area, and I couldn't believe my eyes when I found a photo of the mansion before renovation:
I know it's small, but it's all I could find!
Anyway, here is the press release for the photography event, which will be held tomorrow night!
When: Friday, March 28, 2008 at 6pm
Where: The Velmanette Montgomery Library at Gibb Mansion located at 218 Gates Avenue (near Classon Avenue) in Brooklyn.
What: Pratt Area Community Council and Gibb Mansion Social Services cordially invite you to join us for our very first Visual Journey of the Past, Present and Future, a showcase of images taken by Gibb Mansion Residents and Staff.
Hosted by Social Service Interns, Angie Dang and Carli Ovadek, the philosophy behind this "Visual Journey" is to explore the importance of society and environment and its impact on the residents of the Gibb Mansion community. Gibb Mansion will, for one night, become an art gallery, displaying 30 or so pieces that were taken with a photojournalistic approach. The show will present images representing the past, present, and future of its participants. Deb Howard, the Executive Director of PACC says, “The Visual Journey experience is a culmination of all the hard work and dedication of its participants.”
Gibb Mansion, PACC’s social service residential building in Bed-Stuy, is home to some 71 Individuals that are single, low-income adults, or that may be chronically ill but are working toward the goal of independent living. Equipped with a camera and a journal, the groups met weekly at Gibb to share techniques and images, and on some occasions engage in group sessions with a professional photographer.
The members of Visual Journey use photography to express personal life experiences and future goals. Group members had the opportunity to take pictures together or on their own. As a group they traveled to other neighborhoods and places of interest; i.e. Central Park to capture the beauty of winter or taking in the architectural grandeur of Rockefeller Center.
Angie Dang says, “This showcase represents weeks of hard work, soul searching and talent from residents and staff. The purpose for taking each of these photos were then shared and discussed with peers at our weekly meetings. This gave participants the opportunity to see images and perspectives through a different lens, in addition to sharing individual stories through their own photographs.”
Carli Ovadek continues, “Angie and I want to use this night to recognize the hard work of the Gibb Mansion residents, and give members the chance to present these pieces to the community and important people with their lives.”
The Visual Journey group members would greatly appreciate the support and attendance of PACC staff for this unveiling. Those attending will enjoy an evening of unique photography and the stories behind the pictures.