Lou at Light Work

Light Work is a widely esteemed nonprofit photography organization located in Syracuse, New York. Artist residencies, exhibitions, and the regularly published Contact Sheet have been among its contributions to the photo community since 1973. For a week during August 1995 and again for a week in August 1996, Louis Draper was an artist-in-residence there, working on his New Jersey Arts series.

In Contact Sheet 88 (1996) five artist portraits are published from this body of work. And a simple quote from Draper: “I’m hoping to catch some of the spirit of the artist in his/her environment.”

"Bernarda Bryson Shan, painter. (Former wife of Ben Shann)" c. 1994-96, from the New Jersey Artists series

“Bernarda Bryson Shahn, painter. (Former wife of Ben Shahn)” c. 1994-96, from the New Jersey Artists series

And in Contact Sheet 117 (2002), Draper is noted in memoriam, with this portrait of painter, Hughie Lee-Smith:

"Hughie Lee-Smith, painter," c. 1996, from the New Jersey Artists series

“Hughie Lee-Smith, painter,” c. 1994-96, from the New Jersey Artists series

“Photographers can be invited into the lives of strangers, and sometimes they locate and describe the meaning of community and the formation of character, like the photographs of Lou Draper.” —Contact Sheet 88, JH

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