South End resident Jennifer Kane Coplon, whose previous photo exhibit of Ugandan Elders was shown at the South End library a few years ago, will have a new exhibit there starting Wednesday, June 17, called Discovering Blackstone Square: Inside and Out. The historic parks of Blackstone at Shawmut Avenue and West Newton Street, and its twin across the way at Washington Street, had been laid out as a unified green space, to be called Columbia Park, by Charles Bullfinch in the 19th century. The Olmsted brothers, John Charles and Frederic Law, "improved" it at the beginning of the 20th century by dividing into two, one park on either side of Washington Street.. In words and images, Coplon's earlier work focused on homeless elders in Boston, grandparents in Uganda, and senior housing residents in Israel. As a social worker, she is particularly interested in how the urban environment supports—or hinders—those with fewer resources. She is currently photographing neighborhood parks as places where all are welcome to take advantage of urban green space.
The Blackstone Square photographs were taken from many points of view, at different times of day and in a range of weather conditions. "The park represents for me the pulse of my neighborhood," Coplon said. "I am drawn by its intrigue and mystery. Park railings no longer keep me out but rather beckon me to come inside. Blackstone Square is never the same. The light and park drama continuously change. The dynamism is hypnotic through the lens of a camera that captures ever-new perspectives."
The exhibit will run through July during regular library hours. There will be a presentation of Blackstone Square's history on the exhibit's opening day, Wednesday, June 17, from 6:30 PM till 7:45 PM. This event is free and open to the public. For additional information about Blackstone Square, click on this link.