Here I Am: Bushwick in the 1980s

By Shannon Firth

Soho Photo Gallery is currently hosting Meryl Meisler as its guest exhibitor this month for a project titled, “Here I am: Bushwick in the 1980s.” As an art instructor who taught in the neighborhood, following the historic fires and riots of the Seventies, Meisler captured the destruction she witnessed first-hand—derelict buildings, apartment lootings and a feeling of desertion. But she also grasped something beautiful and unspoken. Beyond all of this terrible decay, life continued. The community was stronger than its walls. Her images show neighbors picnicking besides ramshackle cars and girls playing jump rope beside graffiti-covered homes. “People are still together and still having a laugh amidst this garbage and nonsense,” said Randolph Osmyn Beers, one of Meisler’s former art students, who visited the gallery opening night.

Watch the audio slideshow featuring photographs from the exhibition and interview with Meryl Meisler and others.

Here I Am: Bushwick in the 1980s runs until December 31st!!! Soho Photo Gallery is located at 15 White Street in Manhattan. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 1 – 6 pm or by appointment. Don’t miss it!

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