Midcoast Peace & Justice Group
committed to positive change through non-violent action
People and Community, War and Peace
On Friday June 24, People and Community, War and Peace will open at the Lincoln Street Center in Rockland. On display will be a fifty-year retrospective of the photographs of Olive Pierce. Olive will narrate a slide presentation and discuss her work and her life as a photographer.
The doors will open at 6:30 PM and the slide presentation will start at 7:00. There will be refreshments. The event is sponsored by the Midcoast Peace and Justice Group. Photographs will remain on display until July 28.
Olive graduated from Vassar College in 1945 with a degree in English. In 1948 she joined a post World War II medical mission that took her to Poland. She came home with snapshots of Auschwitz and the ruins of Warsaw, and with the desire to become a photographer.
Her first pictures were of her own small children in Cambridge and on the island of Vinalhaven. She was fortunate to be able to study with Berenice Abbott and Paul Caponigro. In the sixties she received a grant from Harvard that turned her toward documentary work.
She photographed politicians in the Cambridge City Council and children at a low-income housing project. In the seventies and eighties she taught photography at the Cambridge High School. The resulting book, No Easy Roses: A Look at the Lives of City Teenagers, came out in 1986. Ten years later, in 1996, Up River: the Story of a Maine Fishing Community summed up her decade-long association with a community of lobster fishermen.
In 1999, under the auspices of Voices in the Wilderness, Olive traveled illegally to Iraq to bring back pictures of Iraqi children who were suffering and dying as a result of the UN-imposed economic sanctions.
Olive's photographs have been shown widely on the East Coast, and at the Field Museum in Chicago. They are in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Massachusetts; the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland; and the Portland Museum of Art. Of her life and work in photography she says:
All my life I have tried to find a way to connect with the world, and my way has been the camera. Wherever I have photographed, I have found people to be remarkably the same.
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