HARVARD -- Fifty strikingly beautiful, black and white photographs of Harvard residents surrounded guests at an opening reception for the "Towners Portrait" exhibit at the Center on the Common on March 9.
Local photographer Bob Hubert, who personally took, developed, printed and mounted the photos, began the "Towners Portrait" project two years ago with the intent of photographing at least 50 residents of Harvard. "I didn't want 50 photos of people just smiling at the camera," explained Bob in an interview at his home in Harvard. "I tried to help people relax so that a 'primal reaction' could show through."
Bob's goals for the project included creating artistic portraits and a photographic historic record. The visual and emotional impact of these photographs are a result of Bob's understanding that the artistic and dramatic success of portraiture stems from the photographer's command of technique (focus, exposure, lighting) and his ability to connect with the subject.
However, Bob wanted the project to do more than produce portraits. He wanted the images to "startle people into a conversation about their neighbors." He was gratified that the portraits stimulated intense conversation at the reception. Guests freely shared their thoughts and feelings about the images.
To create these photos, Bob used a huge, 60-year-old Graflex Century Master Studio camera that resided for decades in the Harvard Camera Store once located above the General Store.
The "Towners Portrait" exhibit is located in Center on the Common (formerly the old library) at 7 Fairbanks St. The project was partially supported by the Harvard Cultural Council, a local cultural council of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The exhibit is open to the public and runs through March 31.
Viewing times are Mondays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m.