On the road with photographer Jack Murphy

(Jack Murphy)

Anyone who has spent any time hanging out in downtown New Paltz since the 1960s knows Jack Murphy, at least by sight. He’s a local “character,” a social worker, artist and raconteur with plenty of stories to tell. He also holds a BFA in Photography, and since the ‘70s has been a member of the Society for Commercial Archaeology, the oldest national organization devoted to the buildings, artifacts, structures, signs and symbols of the 20th-century commercial landscape.

Every so often Murphy sets off on a road trip to collect photos of urban architecture and Rust Belt remnants. An exhibit of photographs from a recent such expedition, titled “6*19*15,” is on view at the Elting Memorial Library in New Paltz through Friday, October 9, and an opening reception will take place next Tuesday, September 15 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Library.

“This collection of photographs was made on June 19, 2015, on a one-day road trip up Route 28, from Kingston, New York to the area around Delhi and East Meredith, New York. This day trip was one of many I’ve made with my friend, historian Tom Mounkhall, over the past eight years, or so. We take off along secondary and back roads, and stop anytime something catches our eye,” Murphy writes.

Jack Murphy’s work has previously been exhibited at the Friends of Photography in Carmel, California; the Rockport Photographic Workshops in Rockport, Maine; Western Arizona State Gallery in Yuma, Arizona; the Tucson Museum of Art Biennial in Tucson, Arizona; the Muroff Kotler Fine Arts Gallery at SUNY-Ulster and many local venues. He has had his work published in American Photographer, Untitled: The Journal of the Friends of Photography, American Photographer and Photographers’ Forum.

The Elting Library is located at 93 Main Street in New Paltz. Visit https://www.eltinglibrary.org for hours. Admission is free.

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