March 25 – April 24, 2016
Growing up in Middletown Ohio, as the son of a multi-generation family of steel workers, I was able to witness the result an eroding town culture plays in the emotional (and many times physical) health of a community. An industry that was once the life force of a town is taken away and now the people are left to amble through a zone of constraint. My work aims to bridge the gap of urban landscape photography and documentary presenting an insightful vision that remains with the viewer long after they leave, not only for its beauty but for its depth and sincerity.
middle town focuses on the complex relationship between place and identity that encapsulates ‘Middletown America’. Like most of the rust belt region in the US, Middletown, has experienced a massive economic shift over the past 2 decades. Located in historically strategic place between two larger cities, my hometown epitomizes the essence of ‘Middletown’, in name and circumstance. Facing the same economic and political pressures as other blue-collar towns, Middletown has seen the local steel factory outsource most of its labor. This loss of labor force has greatly shifted the physical landscape of Middletown depleting the tax base that was once relied upon to maintain the city’s infrastructure. Meanwhile adjacent cities, just a couple exits away, are expanding and building new houses, new shopping centers creating a tension between the decrepit remains of once thriving city and ideals of capitalism that abandoned the townspeople. My documentary project investigates this tension. I explore the beauty found in this in-between space that the local inhabitants live daily. I strive to answer the question of community identity that arises within this polarized space.
Kyle Grant Wilkinson is an artists working in film and photography. He currently resides in Chapel Hill, NC. Kyle received his undergraduate Degree in Motion Picture Production from Wright State University and will receive his Master of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Arts from Duke University this coming spring. He has had documentaries screened at multiple festivals around the country including Citizen Jane Film Festival and the New Orleans Film Festival. Kyle has also exhibited multiple installations including Reinvention Stories that was displayed at the Dayton Art Institute.
April 2, 2016
Screening at 7PM
Third Friday Reception
April 15, 2016