Exhibit of the Award-Winning "American Hands" Narrative Photographic Portraits of Traditional Tradespeople on Display at the Bloomsburg Public Library

Share Article

World-renowned photographer Sally Wiener Grotta's photographs capture the spirit and beauty of American handiwork. Grotta will present slideshow discussion at the library on September 11th.

John Choi, glassblower, by Sally Wiener Grotta (American Hands)

John Choi, glassblower, (c) by Sally Wiener Grotta (American Hands)

Every once in awhile great artists are able to transcend.... Sally's vision is grand... [and]... reflected in the warmth she portrays, in the people she photographs and the world she captures.

An exhibit of the acclaimed “American Hands” narrative portrait project by famed photographer Sally Wiener Grotta will be on display September 4-30, 2014, at the Bloomsburg Public Library, 225 Market St Bloomsburg, PA 17815. More than 100 photographs tell the stories of traditional tradespeople, such as a bookbinder, spinner, quilters, blacksmith, glassblower and other artisans who are keeping the old skills alive.

On Thursday, September 11, 2014, at 6:30 PM, the artist Sally Wiener Grotta will present a slideshow discussion about the American Hands project, sharing stories of the artisans she has photographed, and answering questions about the project and about photography in general. Please call the library to reserve your space for the workshop (570-784-0883).

Members of the press are welcome to contact Sally Wiener Grotta directly for an interview. Photos are also available for the press. (Sally[at]Grotta[dot]net.)

About “American Hands”

“American Hands” is Sally Wiener Grotta's award-winning visual celebration of those individuals who keep alive the traditional crafts that built our dynamically diverse culture and established the underpinnings of our present-day society. In this ongoing project, she is creating narrative portraits of people who use their hands in traditional ways, making functional objects that are, today, typically done by machines.

Along the way, Sally spends time in a wide variety of artisans' workshops – including a spinner, weaver, blacksmith, glassblower, bookbinder, rug-maker and many others – returning over the months and years, to follow the various stages of their creations.

Sally's easy 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. Her narrative series of portraits capture both the fascinating craft processes and the individual personalities of the craftspersons.

American Hands has been (and continues to be) exhibited all over the state, in both large and small venues, such as the East Wing Rotunda of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building, the University of Scranton, and the Northeast Branch of the Philadelphia Library. Other exhibits (and related lectures) are scheduled for the next few years around the country. Eventually, it will be a book. In the meantime, there are two publications: the American Hands Newsletter and the first in a series of "American Hands Journals."

Exhibits of “American Hands” are scheduled through 2016. Sally will also be giving lectures associated with the exhibits, visiting schools, senior citizen centers, community organizations and so forth.

The recipient of over three dozen grants, “American Hands” has been adopted by the Artspire program of the New York Foundation for the Arts (one of the nation’s most respected arts organizations), under their fiscal sponsorship. This exhibit of “American Hands” and the slideshow presentation are supported by a Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Grant from Bradford Country Arts Council and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. The project is also sponsored by Hewlett-Packard Workstations, HP Designjet Printers, Pentax, and smugmug.

About Sally Wiener Grotta

Photographer, digital artist, author, columnist and lecturer, all describe what Sally Wiener Grotta does. But to truly understand who she is, one must also apply the title Storyteller to her list of accomplishments and achievements. Whether it's a picture or an article, a workshop or a book, Sally's primary purpose, above and beyond communicating concepts, ideas and information, is to tell a good story that will entertain, amuse and enlighten.

"A global treasure" ~ Pat Schroeder, former U.S. Congresswoman

Recognized by xRite as “one of the world’s top professional photographers,” Sally has traveled on assignment all over the world, to every continent (including Antarctica several times), plus many exotic islands (such as Papua New Guinea). In addition to various “American Hands” exhibits, other collective and one-woman exhibits of Sally's work are scheduled through 2016. Her pictures have appeared in numerous exhibits, scores of national glossy magazines, many books and various ads. She has published eight non-fiction books (on photography and travel). Her fiction includes the novels “Jo Joe” and "The Winter Boy."

"Every once in awhile great artists are able to transcend.... Sally's vision is grand... [and]... reflected in the warmth she portrays, in the people she photographs and the world she captures." ~ Steven Rosenbaum, President of SIR Communications and former Editor of Modern Photography

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Lori Ryan
American Hands
+1 (570) 676-5500
Email >
American Hands
Like >
Follow us on