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Ascension: The Journey of John Coltrane

The Harlem School of the Arts' Gathering Space (G-Space)
645 Saint Nicholas Avenue, 212.926.4100
January 14 - March 2, 2010
Reception: Thursday, January 21, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

The Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) Visual Arts Department presents Hank Paper’s Ascension: The Journey of John Coltrane.

In hopes of designation as a national landmark, The Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism provided Hank Paper a grant to photograph the Philadelphia home John Coltrane shared with his cousin, Mary Blair. More than thirty years after Coltrane’s death, Mr. Paper began the task of tracking the musician’s life from birth in North Carolina, through the beginnings of his career in Philadelphia, to his success in New York City. Ascension takes the viewer on a “photographic jazz evocation of a life.” Mr. Paper “wanted his show to be something like a jazz song itself, free-flowing and lyrical, with structure and harmony, and yet with a sense of improvisation, that finally disappears into the air, leaving an ineffable trace of the man and his music.”

The Director of Visual Arts, Adarsh Alphons says, “We are delighted to host Mr. Paper’s ten-year project about the legendary John Coltrane. The exhibition’s photographic journey tells the story of dedication, hard work and perseverance, attributes that the artistic and talented faculty at HSA instill in our students everyday.” During Black History Month, Mr. Paper will also host a Saturdays at Noon discussion about his travels documenting Mr. Coltrane’s life and the subsequent exhibition on February 6th.

Evoking the life of a legend through photos is no easy task yet, Mr. Paper has done so by “visiting surviving neighbors and neighborhood haunts, empty lots and abandoned buildings, old jazz clubs whose sounds had long ceased, and still-thriving venues whose sounds have forever been changed by the music he brought there.” The Harlem School of the Arts is proud to display the talent of Mr. Hank Paper and John Coltrane.

Hank Paper has photographed around the world. His many solo exhibits include The African American Museum in Philadelphia, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the High Point Historical Museum in North Carolina (Grand Opening Exhibit), The Jewish Museum of New Jersey; the Morgenthal-Frederics Gallery is SoHo, and the Tamarkin Leica Gallery in New York. He has also exhibited extensively in New Haven, has received numerous awards and honors, and been published widely. The Kehler-liddell Gallery in New Haven represents him.
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