We had a great time at Ira's opening. Thanks so much to everyone who came out and to Stephanie Ehrlich, Executive Director of the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance, for speaking about the park as it relates to Ira's beautiful exhibit.
"Ephemeral is about the timelessness of man’s interaction to place. It is about a specific place, Van Cortlandt Park, but it is also a universal playground of woods and structures. It was photographed over six years in which the nature of the project took several turns. It began as a study of the seasonal changes in the park and an escape from taking care of my elderly parents. It moved into the theme of winter as my parents embarked onto the journey beyond. Finally it evolved into ephemeral, a feeling of timelessness, quickly passing, existing, and looking ahead." Ira
Thanks to Sinuhe Padilla Isunza for his gorgeous music.
Ira is a Bronx resident for 71 years, married with two grown children. He is retired from teaching photography for 35 years, the last 26 at the High School of Art & Design in Manhattan. Before teaching he worked as a freelance photographer associate at the Dena Photography Agency and also as a videographer for the Health and Nursing Program at Lehman College in the Bronx. He has been a recipient of six individual artist awards in photography from the Bronx Council on the Arts and has received grants for photography projects including documenting the residents of the Amalgamated Cooperative (the oldest housing co-op in the nation) during their 85th anniversary year. Ira also participated as one of the photographers for the borough wide Bronx Artist Documentary Project which resulted in a traveling show and book. As a mixed media artist Ira Merritt’s images begin with the photographic process and then evolve through assemblage, montage, collage, and drawing; to create edgy fractured remnants of a disenfranchised population. Ira considers himself to be a deconstructive – reconstructive artist in that he finds elements of our culture and re-imagines them as if they were found by another society in the future and used by those people for purposes other than their intended use.