'Soul of America' photos of New Orleans to appear at Oswego State Downtown

Yolanda Tooley’s photographic exhibit “New Orleans, Soul of America” will bring the spirit of the Crescent City to Oswego State Downtown, corner of West First and Bridge streets, Oct. 29 to Nov. 27.

'krazy korner' by Yolanda Tooley.The show will start with a reception, free and open to the public, from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29.

Tooley, a professional photographer based in Cicero, will show 16 images reflecting her self-described “love affair” with the city whose legacy spans the birthplace of jazz to the deathly pall of Hurricane Katrina to the region’s continuing rebirth.

“New Orleans is an incomparable city, with its wrought iron edifices, its balustrades, balconies, sprawling above-ground cemeteries, shotgun houses and its riotous mix of food and music,” Tooley explained.

“I feel completely American in New Orleans—an ultimate melting pot—a great Creole gumbo of transplants and exiles from faraway places: France, Italy, Spain, Germany, the East Indies, Africa and more,” Tooley said. “Some were conscripted; others, like my own Southern Italian family, came to find peace, freedom and opportunity. Yet all inequity was not left behind.”

These experiences include the effervescent joy of Mardi Gras as well as returning a few months after Katrina to find “whole communities destroyed; its people displaced; I saw layers of loss and tragedy blight New Orleans,” Tooley said.

A photographer for more than 25 years, Tooley infuses some of her images with such touches as collage and adding color by hand. Her work has appeared in exhibits from Central New York to Chicago to Washington, D.C., and has been published in Syracuse University Press’ Journal of Arts and the National League of American Pen Woman’s anthology, “Happy Birthday, Mr. Lincoln.”

Oswego State Downtown, an arm of the College Book Store, is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Call 216-4985 for more information.

PHOTO CAPTION: Crescent City sight—“Krazy Korner, N.O.,” a solarized gelatin sliver print, is among the 16 images in Yolanda Tooley’s “New Orleans, The Soul of America” exhibition, opening Oct. 29 at Oswego State Downtown.

(Posted: Oct 18, 2010)

Tags: tooley, photography, oswego state downtown, new orleans, exhibit, digital