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MELINDA ROSE 06.18.15-10.04.15

OF THE RISING TIDE


Opening Reception: Saturday June 20, 7pm-12am
Front Gallery: June 18 - October 11 ~ Back Gallery: October 15 - December 6

Scott Edwards Gallery is pleased to present Melinda Rose: Of the Rising Tide - A Photo Essay on the Vanishing Bayou Community of Isle de Jean Charles. From 2005 until 2015, Melinda Rose’s camera focuses on the people of “Isle de Jean Charles” in the (***bayou name***) in Southern Louisiana. This Exhibition contains over 30 Limited Edition 12x18 black and white photos, showing the everyday life of a Native American community on the verge of loosing their home to coastal erosion. As part of the exhibition, Melinda has also published a book entitled “Of the Rising Tide” featuring all pieces.

““In the forgotten reaches of the Louisiana marshes, a community clings tenaciously to what remains of its homeland. “Isle de Jean Charles,” is a fragile, finger-like Island, attached to the mainland by a narrow 2 mile-long road. A good steady wind could leave you trapped on the Island for days.

Enter the hurricanes. Vicious storms with sweet sounding names like Katrina and Rita swallow up this Island again and again, each time ripping up more lives and eroding away more of the Island’s land mass. “Oh we’re used to hurricanes alright,” says Chris Brunet, who is raising his orphaned niece and nephew from a wheel chair. “But since the '50s, our barrier Islands have been eroding away…and now the salt water rushes right in and kills just about everything.”

Chris is one of 40 remaining Islanders, all descendants of the Choctaw-Chitimacha Indian tribes. These Native Americans have inhabited a once-thriving gulf community for more than a century. The elders share stories of a once-lush prairie land textured with a variety of trees, including fig, pecan and persimmons. Today the horizon is left to tend the hauntingly beautiful remains of mighty oaks and bald cypress, their lonely bleached-out bones rising defiantly out of the soggy marshes.

The people of this battered and broken Island are living on borrowed time. And, as if they haven’t suffered enough, the massive BP oil disaster managed to strip all of the Island’s commercial fishermen of the only livelihood they’ve ever known.

Yet, somehow, these gritty and determined people of Isle de Jean Charles continue to live out their lives. The children frolic and play on the new levee. The men take their boats out on the Gulf. Families of three generations come together on a swelteringly hot Sunday afternoon. And life goes on…for now.”” - Melinda Rose

Melinda’s previous work has shown in the Newspace Gallery in Portland, and locally at The Terrebonne Waterlife Museum Gallery. She has been published in PhotoReview, a national publication in Philadelphia. She has a BA in Fine Art/Photography from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and is a certified Art Instructor. As Part of the exhibition she will be offering presentations to children centering on discussion of coastal erosion and the vanishing community of Isle de Jean Charles. For more information contact Scott Edwards Gallery.

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