Lowell High Freshman Academy students capture Lowell images for Photography Weekend
Lowell High Freshman Academy students capture Lowell images for Photography Weekend

Lowell is a perpetual hotbed of artistic achievement and collaboration. And nowhere is that more apparent than when its galleries, museums and businesses band together to create something spectacular.

Such is the case with Lowell Photography Weekend, a citywide, multi-venue celebration of photography being held Saturday and Sunday, May 17 and 18.

Each exhibition's length varies, but all venues will host artists' receptions this weekend at staggered times, allowing visitors ample time to check out various shows and meet the exhibiting photographers.

So what's in store?

Lowell National Historical Park partners with young photographers from the Lowell High Freshman Academy Compass Afterschool program for the show Who is Lowell? Portraits of the City at the Boot Cotton Mills Museum.

Image by Giovanna Aviles’ in ’HerStory’ tribute to female photographers at 119 Gallery
Image by Giovanna Aviles' in 'HerStory' tribute to female photographers at 119 Gallery

Student photographers captured contemporary portraits of folks who live and work in Lowell, exploring the human experience here through the eyes of a new generation of photographers. Exhibit visitors are invited to contribute their own portraits and thoughts on self-identity and become a part of the show.

The project's a perfect culmination to a year's worth of photo taking and it also helped students reach out to their community, said program supervisor Katie Keefe.

"The project opened my mind, broadened my horizons and made me look at people in my city in a whole new way. It made me appreciate Lowell in a way I never had before," said student photographer Amanda Ferreira, 15.

At 119 Gallery, Giovanna Aviles curates HerStory, a tribute to female pioneers of photography who have inspired the art, lives and perspectives of the photographers featured in the exhibit. Imogen Cunningham, Cindy Sherman, Vivian Maier and Julia Margaret Cameron are the early photographers being honored and emulated by the contemporary photographers.

And, said Aviles, she feels honored to have the opportunity to curate the show.

A millworker at work in photo featured at American Textile History Museum
A millworker at work in photo featured at American Textile History Museum

Other venues showcase single photographers, landscapes, historic scenes and more.

Here's the rundown of venues, exhibits and reception times. Check them out and expand your horizons with these amazing images.

  • 119 Gallery, 119 Chelmsford St., 119gallery.org, 978-452-8138. HerStory: A Tribute to the Female Pioneers of Photography. Through May 18; reception May 17, 3-5 p.m.
  • Arts League of Lowell ALL Gallery, 307 Market St., artsleagueoflowell.com, 978-221-5108. Transformations, a juried show featuring work all focusing on transformation by Maria Bay, Paul Bessette, Joshua Boger, Norm Caron, James Leland Hill, Jack Holmes, Janice Lind, Shannon Murphy, Sue Peacock, Sarah Roche, Coleman Rogers, Wilda Gerideau Squires and Bob Stegmaier. Through June 1; reception May 17, 4-6 p.m.
  • American Textile History Museum, 491 Dutton St., athm.org, 978-441-0400. Flowers in the Factory featuring historic photos from the museum's collection brought to life as large-scale fabric installations. Through June 22; reception May 17, 2-4 p.m.
  • Ayer Lofts Gallery, 172 Middle St., ayerlofts.com, 978-454-2739. The Instant Image: Art of the Polaroid Transfer, featuring exquisite little Polaroid transfers by Jeffrey Engle. Through May 30; reception May 18, 3-5 p.m.
  • Brew'd Awakening Coffeehaus, 61 Market St., brewdawakening.com, 978-454-2739. Life In War: 1860s America During the Civil War, featuring a photographic essay highlighting daily lives of soldiers and their families in historically accurate depictions by the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry of Civil War re-enactors. Reception Saturday, 5-7 p.m.
  • Brush Art Gallery & Studios, 256 Market St., thebrush.org, 978-459-7819. The Colorful World of Black and White, featuring black and white photos in various forms (silver, ink jet or light jet) curated by master photographer Ron Rosenstock. Through June 14; reception May 17, noon-2 p.m.
  • Centro Restaurant and Bar, 24 Market St., centrolowell.com, 978-453-4630. MotionNotMotion, photos by Coleman Rogers. Through June 21; reception Sunday, 1-3 p.m.
  • The Loading Dock Gallery, 122 Western Avenue, theloadingdockgallery.com, 978-656-1687. Photography and Beyond, an invitational exhibit by photographers pushing photography beyond the expected and using new and old techniques. Through June 1; reception Saturday, 3-5 p.m.
  • Lowell National Historical Park Boott Mills Gallery, 115 John St. (formerly 400 Foot of John St.) nps.gove/lowe/, 978-970-5000. Who is Lowell? Portraits of the City, featuring photos by Lowell High School Freshman Academy students of Lowell's residents and workers. Through July 31; reception Sunday, noon-2 p.m.
  • Lowell Telecommunications Corporation Gallery, 246 Market St., ltc.org, 978-458-5400. Chance Encounters: Portraits by Marla Sweeney Artists, an exhibit of photos taken over several years in various regions from Texas to New York to Massachusetts, but all depicting American life in regard to character. Through June 30; reception Saturday, 1-3 p.m.
  • millWorks at Appleton Mills, 219 Jackson St. Phoenix Rising, featuring photographs that focus on immortality, reborn idealism and hope. Through May 30; reception Saturday, 4-6 p.m.
  • New England Quilt Museum, 18 Shattuck St., nequiltmuseum.org, 978-452-4207. Picture Perfect: Photographs in Quilts, featuring an array of quilts featuring photographic images transformed onto fabric. Through May 31; reception Saturday, 1-3 p.m.
  • Whistler House Museum of Art, 243 Worthen St., whistlerhouse.org, 978-452-7641. My New England Photography Exhibition, a juried show featuring artists' array of favorite New England scenes, from the mountains to the ocean. Through June 18; reception Saturday, 2-4 p.m.

For information, visit www.lowellphotographyweekend.com

Nancye Tuttle's email address is nancyedt@verizon.net.