Lucia Mulder

Berkshire is pleased to announce a new exhibit opening on January 8th in The Warren Family Gallery, "Portraits of a Working Waterfront: Photographs by Jim Hooper '69." The 25 photographs were selected from a community portrait project that Mr. Hooper worked on in 2014 and feature people who make up the commercial fishing fleet of Gloucester, Mass., one of the country's oldest seaports.

Most of the subjects in the exhibit were born and raised in Gloucester, a few blocks from the Cape Ann Museum, where the portraits are now part of the permanent collection.

"I am drawn to community portrait projects because they have a unique way of binding together disparate people living in the same community and because of the variety of emotions they evoke," explained Hooper, a 1969 Berkshire graduate and current trustee. "They demonstrate that most people have more in common with their neighbors than they ever realized."

Hooper says he admires Gloucester's famed past and the spirit and determination of the people who make their living from the sea. He also happens to have first-hand experience on the water. During the middle of his college career, he worked as a mate on a commercial tuna fishing boat on the waters between Alaska and southern California. "The experience taught me life lessons that hold me in good stead even today," he said.

"My goals for my own projects are to help people communicate with one another, celebrate the little guy, and honor the unsung," Hooper stated. "The daughter of one of the waterfront subjects came up to me with tears in her eyes and said, 'Thank you so much for honoring my father; it means everything to my family.'"

There will be a reception open to the Berkshire community on Thursday, January 25th at 6:30 p.m., and Mr. Hooper will host a gallery talk with students on Friday, January 26th at 9 a.m. "Portraits of a Working Waterfront: Photographs by Jim Hooper '69" will be on display from January 8 – March 3, 2018.