CAMBRIDGE - “Where Land and Water Meet, The Chesapeake Bay Photography of David W. Harp” opens in the galleries of the Dorchester Center for the Arts on Aug. 5, for a two-month run through Sept. 25. This exhibit, on loan from the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, represents 40 years of documentary images by Harp.
As his website bio reads, Harp is a lifelong Marylander, who operates a corporate and editorial photography business in Cambridge. He is a 1969 graduate of Ohio University, with a degree in English literature.
He served as the staff photographer for the Hagerstown Morning Herald and was the photographer for The Baltimore Sun Magazine for nearly a decade before establishing his own business in 1990.
“My early inspiration to photograph the people, flora and fauna of the Chesapeake Bay region came from a book by Aldo Leopold called ‘A Sand County Almanac,’” stated Harp. “He wrote that land should be treated like a community of which we are a part rather than a commodity that we buy and sell. That community is no more vibrant or more interdependent than on the edge where land and water meet and where culture and place conspire to form the very essence of Chesapeake Bay. From the human communities that have evolved around crab and oyster and fish, to the complex life in the Bay's salt and freshwater marshes, I try to emphasize the beauty of that watery world but also what we will lose if we don't pay attention to the natural systems that sustain it.”
Dave worked closely with Pete Lesher and Jenifer Dolde, curatorial staff at CBMM, to select the exhibit photos from the thousands in his archives. Visitors will find images ranging from the docks and crab shanties of Tylerton on Smith Island and crab dredgers working through a squall in the lower Bay, to thousands of snow geese at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge – even dozens of black and white Tri-X film shots of legendary skipjacks including Rebecca T. Ruark. The public may also view this work on the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s virtual exhibition webpage, wherelandandwatermeet.org/home.
The Second Saturday Artist Reception on Aug. 13, 5-7 p.m., will include a talk with the artist and CBMM curatorial staff, plus live music and light refreshments. Admission is free and all are welcome. Harp’s work can be viewed at chesapeakephotos.com.
For more information about programs and events at the Dorchester Center for the Arts, stop by 321 High St., call 410-228-7782 or visit online at dorchesterarts.org. Find DCA on Facebook. Programs at DCA are supported by the Maryland State Arts Council.