Thursday, June 5, 2003

Good News


Photo show is a peek at history

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Merrill A. Roberts Jr.'s collection of photographs, titled "Art & Life Together Is Magic," ends Sunday after a successful display at the Arts Consortium Gallery, 1515 Linn St., West End.

"It has been a good show," said Dorothy Butts, administrative assistant at the consortium. "It is a good collection of jazz artists, entertainers, different people in different cities and in different walks of life."

Roberts, 71, refers to his collection of 135 photographs at the consortium as a walk through history.

He shows the audience his photos from the first modern-day black political convention in Gary, Ind., in 1971, which appeared in Jet magazine.As a self-taught photographer, Roberts mixes street knowledge and a form of peephole-style photojournalism with modern techniques to capture the evolution of the identity of a race from being called colored, Negro, black and African-American.

In 1968, he was the only photographer who followed the Harlem Drug Fighters through the hallways of the Harlem Hospitals Annex when the group took over the hospital, protesting the lack of a drug and alcohol treatment center.

Through what he calls a trained photographic eye, he said: "I have given a face to the faceless."

As he puts it, his work goes beyond the famous at work or on stage, but catching people in the simple pleasures of life.

He has had photos published in the New York Times, the Daily News, Penthouse, Downbeat, Billboard, Ebony, Jet and Essence.

Born in Harlem, he said he learned a lot about life in the streets, where he cultivated an interest in photographing what he saw.

He said he did honest work as a tractor-trailer driver and a plumber-welder, but he had his camera with him.

The eye-opening journey through history and a look at some of the people who made it can be viewed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Paula Sherman, arts and education director at the consortium, said the show will remain open Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

For more information, call 381-0645.

stars

Dr. Richard E. Welling, Good Samaritan Hospital's surgical residency and vascular surgery director, has been named president of the Association of Program Directors in Surgery.

The organization has 800 members, representing 261 general surgery residency programs.

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The Memorial Day Weekend Mattress & Furniture Drive generated 150 pick-ups for furniture and mattresses for the needy.

The event was sponsored by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the Kenwood Lazarus Furniture Gallery.

All donated items will be distributed throughout Greater Cincinnati.

Allen Howard's "Some Good News" column runs Sunday-Friday. If you have suggestions about outstanding achievements, or people who are uplifting to the Tristate, let him know at 768-8362, at ahoward@enquirer.com or by fax at 768-8340.




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