Pandemic Photo Project Highlights First Gallery Show Since 2019

After a successful community photographic project last year, Christ Church Charlestown is ready to reveal their second effort this week – a photo project strongly influenced by COVID-19 and living life under its safety protocols.

“We are doing ‘Through Their Eyes’ again this year, but this pandemic has changed everything with the project,” said JD Mangrum, pastor of Christ Church. “Last year we gave out disposable cameras and then collected them. This year, during the month of September, we had the photographers in the community use their cell phones, and then we uploaded the photos through a new digital platform…This year instead of a jury, we had the community vote on the photos too. It was different…I really want to maintain this even for years to come, but I felt like if we had 2019, stopped in 2020, and then tried to pick up again in 2021, it would take a lot off of the effort.”

So, Through Their Eyes has been completed with some astounding photos of people living their lives in the community through September, 2020 – seen through the eyes of regular people, amateur photographers who live or work in the Town. Some of the categories this year included Life in the Pandemic, Community, Reflections, the Color Yellow, and Red, White & Blue. The photos will premiere on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the StoveFactory Gallery. It is the first show the gallery has been able to have since last December, as all of their usual spring, summer and fall efforts were cancelled due to COVID-19.

“There are less photos than last year, but the quality if very high,” said Mangrum. “Even with the pandemic, you get a sense that this is a snapshot of life in this community…There was one photo where this woman found these two guys that are always out sitting on their street. They’ve been neighbors for some time, but because of the pandemic they were finally able to get to know one another. There is one really great one of a little girl using sidewalk chalk. It’s just really, really beautiful picture and the colors pop. I feel like sidewalk chalk is something I see everywhere now. It’s a very unique pandemic thing.”

Mangrum said the Gallery is open to the public, but people have to make an appointment online to come view the work as a way of limiting the numbers in the space at one time. On Thursday and Friday, they will be open 6-9 p.m. Then on Saturday and Sunday, they’ll be open 1-5 p.m.

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