About American Hands 2 - AmericanHands
  • About American Hands 2


American Hands is an ongoing photographic study by Sally Wiener Grotta, who is creating narrative portraits of traditional artisans, such as a blacksmith, quilting bee, spinner, glass blower, weaver, tatting lacemaker, papermaker and so forth. About American Hands American Hands is Sally Wiener Grotta's ongoing narrative visual celebration of those individuals – blacksmiths, weavers, spinners, glassblowers, bookbinders, rug makers, etc – who are keeping alive the traditional trades that built our country's diverse culture. Sally's natural down-to-earth shooting style helps artisans warm to her camera, developing personal relationships that allow her to share in intensely private and often poignant creative moments, as well as spontaneous expressions of joy and discovery. Her narrative series of portraits capture both the fascinating creative processes and the individual personalities of the craftspersons. This project has hit a resonant chord with the public and the art world, and continues to generate quite a "buzz." The purpose of American Hands is multi-faceted: To honor the artisans who have dedicated their lives to keeping traditional trades alive To preserve and share the stories Sally collects To use Sally's pictures and stories to energize and excite the public about human creative potential To educate and inform young and old alike about our creative cultural heritage, through free-to-the public exhibits and slideshow discussions. To push photography, imaging and fine art printing artistically, attempting to expand the creative language we use to tell visual stories The project has received more than three dozen grants plus other honors, including: Adopted by the New York Foundation for the Arts (one of the country's most respective arts organizations), under their Artspire fiscal sponsorship project. In other words, American Hands now has 501(c )(3) non-profit status, and all donations are tax-deductible. (Please see the AmericanHands/Artspire page for more information.) Numerous corporate sponsorships, including Hewlett Packard and Pentax. Sally was recognized for her work on American Hands on the floor of the Pennsylvania Senate by a standing ovation from the legislators To date, over 250,000 individuals have personally attended American Hands exhibits. That number does not include the uncounted hundreds of thousands who have read, seen or heard about American Hands from the wide print and electronic media coverage of the project, exhibits, lectures and other related personal appearances In addition to numerous magazine, newspaper and Internet articles, American Hands has been featured in a good number of videos, TV and radio shows Numerous other American Hands exhibits and slide show presentations are currently scheduled through 2014, with others planned or under consideration. (There's still room on the calendar for additional exhibits and presentations.) Sally will continue to travel throughout the United States, photographing artisans at work, mounting exhibits and giving slide show presentations for years to come. Almost every week, Sally receives emails and phone calls about additional exhibits, lectures, grants, media interviews and other opportunities for American Hands. For further insights into American Hands and Sally’s general philosophy of narrative portrait photography, please listen to Erika Funke's interview with Sally on WVIA-FM (an NPR affliliate) And, to see the TV interview that PA Senator Lisa Baker did with Sally, on the occasion of a Pennsylvania Hands exhibit in the East Wing Rotunda of the PA State Capitol Building, please go to: Focus on PA video. ( Pennsylvania Hands is a regional focus of American Hands.) Other videos about the project, including some of Sally’s presentations, may be viewed on the American Hands YouTube Channel. To view some of Sally’s work from other projects, please go to her portfolio Website or the Wordsmiths Project site. If you know of an artisan whom you feel Sally should consider photographing for American Hands, please use this Website’s Contact page.



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