Feature Articles

January 2011

Bull City Arts Collaborative in Durham, NC, Features Works by Raymond Goodman

The Bull City Arts Collaborative in Durham, NC, is presenting the exhibit, BURLAP - Portraits of Piedmont Farmers by Raymond Goodman, on view through Jan. 28, 2012. A closing reception will be held on Jan. 20, from 6-9pm.

This photography exhibit captures the faces of the clean food movement in our region. These portraits were all taken on farmland, with a veil of burlap between the farmers and the land they work. While these individuals have come to farming from a range of backgrounds and with varying intentions, these farmers have ultimately arrived at a nexus of geographical and philosophical common ground. Day after day, season after season, they set about their duties motivated by a love of labor and by the integrity of their mission.

Regardless of age, a youthful optimism persists in spite of the adversarial climate of today’s corporate food system. After decades of industrial agriculture and its assault on small, independent farmers, the agricultural tradition had been left hanging by a thread. Farmers are few; shareholders are many, and much knowledge has been forgotten. But the remnants of that knowledge, kept alive by a devoted few, are being stewarded by these farmers with new methodologies and a nod to the long agricultural tradition and history they are carrying on.

The beauty of this small-scale, intelligent farming resurgence rests in the collective, co-operative approach to solving age-old problems. There is an overarching desire to share knowledge and resources, while chipping away at monoculture and environmental disregard. These small-scale farms are winning day by day as evidenced by the growth and popularity of farmers markets, farm to fork restaurants, plow to pint breweries, local this, and organic that.

“This isn’t a return to anything,” says one farmer while checking his e-mail and taking a quick phone call in the field. Dropping an heirloom tomato into a bucket hanging from his belt loop he continues: “There’s nothing more modern than the food we eat.”

The frames, designed by William H. Dodge and fabricated by Marc E. Smith, are made of locally sourced Ambrosia maple.

Raymond Goodman is a photographer who lives in Raleigh, NC, (for now), and tends bees when he isn’t taking care of his daughter Heidi Rose with his wife Crystal.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Collective at 919/949-4847 or visit (www.bullcityarts.org).

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