Soul-tography

Norton Museum of Arts | Clubs, Joints and Honky-Tonks Exhibition

Although you may never experience the thrill of being alone in a room with Bruce Springsteen, Madonna or Etta James, the Norton Museum of Art hopes to bring you at least one step closer with “Clubs, Joints and Honky-Tonks,” an exhibition featuring photos of musicians and their inspirational haunts that will seep into the soul like blues music heard up and down Bourbon Street.

This unique exhibit conjured up by Tim B. Wride – William and Sarah Ross Soter Curator of Photography – is a compilation of works by Lynn Goldsmith, David Scheinbaum, Jeff Dunas, Henry Horenstein, Elliott Landy, and Moby. Its photos will transport you to full-scale concerts and intimate performances by beloved artists.

Wride explains that while photography usually puts the spotlight on the entertainer, this exhibit allows one to see through the imagery to the energy between artist and audience.

“This is not about the cult of celebrity, the cult of personality or about passive entertainment,” said Wride, “this is about there being a contract between the artist and the audience and the venue – a contract to which each contributes their portion of what makes the live performance of music a unique and, at its best, transcendent experience.”

Black-and-white photographs of smoke-filled, almost dilapidated joints on the back roads of Louisiana, Tennessee and Duncan, Mississippi where the Dew Drop Inn beckons you with “Home cooked Bar-B-Q,” and lets you in on a little secret painted right smack on the joint, because this is “where the good times is at.”

You can be thrown into a mosh pit, or stand in front of Moby’s audience and feel what it’s like to be an adored artist on stage.

According to Wride, this is a must-see exhibit.

“The works in the show can be catalysts to access parts of our own experience of concerts, musical moments, and melodies that sometimes get lost in the overriding spectacle of ‘the music biz’ ”, he said. “And the show just happens to have some drop-dead beautiful images in it.”

The exhibit is in house until September 30, 2012. For more information, call (561) 832-5196 or visit the museum online at www.norton.org.

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