|National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame to exhibit work of backstretch photographers in “A View From the Backstretch”“A View From the Backstretch,” an exhibit featuring the photographic work of several horsemen and horsewomen, will open July 18 at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and runs through Dec. 31. The exhibit is a collaboration between award-winning photographer Dona Ann McAdams and a group of backstretch workers, including exercise riders, hot walkers, maintenance personnel, kitchen staff, and grooms.
A sneak preview of “A View From the Backstretch” will take place for the media on Tuesday, July 12 from 1-4 p.m. in the Museum’s von Stade Gallery. McAdams and several of the photographers will be on hand for interviews and photographs.
The exhibition features more than 60 color photographs taken from the unique perspective of the backstretch workers. In 2010, this group participated in weekly workshops with McAdams. They made their artwork between feeding, grazing, and breeding horses; schooling in the paddock or icing legs, harrowing the track, or riding in company. Throughout the year, they learned photographic techniques, studied the work of other photographers, work-shopped, and critiqued each other’s work.
The backstretch photographers include: Louis Garcia, Heather Coots, Alvin Davis, Frank Fodera, Shannon Geiser, Maximino and Esperanza Nolazco, Paul Perry, Steve Lockett, Veronika Laciokovo, Salvador Hernandez, Chris Stephens, Kenny Streicher, Sigrid Wallace, and Carole Williams.
McAdams, who conceived and oversaw the project in conjunction with the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, is the recipient of the Lange-Taylor Prize from the Center of Documentary Studies at Duke University, and an Obie and Bessie award-winning photographer whose work has been exhibited internationally. In 2005, she learned how to hot-walk Thoroughbreds and became a licensed New York State Racing Authority worker in order to more intimately photograph Thoroughbreds and the world of the backstretch.
“A View From the Backstretch” is curated by Beth Sheffer with funding from the Charles Lawrence Keith and Clara Miller Foundation, and the Work Force Development Institute.