A Project to expose the unique area's characters, misfits and talent of Old Towne Petersburg Virginia in an uniquely artistic and creative manner. A new revealing chapter is currently being produced for a May 2015 release. td img {display: block;}td img {display: block;} body,td,th { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; color: #333333; } body { background-color: #666666; }td img {display: block;}td img {display: block;} td img {display: block;}td img {display: block;}td img {display: block;}td img {display: block;}td img {display: block;}td img {display: block;} .style1 { color: #333333; font-weight: bold; }td img {display: block;}td img {display: block;} .style8 { color: #333333; font-size: 24px; }
The Conception
The Plan
Shooting the Project
The Controversy
The Media
The Media
The Participants and Project Photographs
Final Notes
The Project Poster

We knew that the concept of the project (nearly naked people) would raise some eyebrows but we wanted to do something "different". We wanted to do a project that would generate some attention. Not only did we want to draw people down to view the project but we wanted this project to be a catalyst for people to discover the unique shops, restaurants and entertainment offerings of "Old Towne". Very early on, the Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper ran a story on the front page of their Sunday Business Section (Easter Sunday Edition) that included the headline.....

"Petersburg residents to pose nude for Olde (sic) Towne photo show"

with a picture of Brent (later on known as the "naked flute boy") that was taken by one of their staff photographers during one of my shoots. Not only was this the headline on the front page of the Times-Dispatch business section but was used as a teaser on the front page of paper as well. If people had not already learned of the project by word-of-mouth, they certainly knew about it now. The project was now "exposed" and Brent instantly became the unofficial poster boy of "Old Towne Exposed".

I thought my reputation as a photographer would overshadow any concerns. The concept was simply an attention grabber. I was confident that once people saw the actual work I shot; any concerns would simply fade away. However; the Richmond Times-Dispatch story would fuel overt as well as covert opposition to the project. Things would become real silly.

On Wednesday morning, May 5th, Kimberly Ann learned that a petition was presented to the Petersburg City Council the previous evening (see below) to "put a stop" to an exhibit that hadn't even opened yet. Kimberly Ann went up to the Council Clerk's office and got a copy of the petition and brought a copy by my office. We were told that City Council accepted the petition without comment. The only thing Kimberly Ann and I knew was that no one had approached either of us with any concerns about this project.

I must question how this group could ever think it could block an exhibit on private property that no one had seen. These images were closely guarded. Outside of Kim and myself, NO ONE had seen the project images. The most that the participants had seen were an image or two from their own shoot on the back of my camera while we were shooting in order to give them a rough idea what their pose/photograph would look like. The organizers did have Brent's picture (taken by the Times-Dispatch photographer and appeared in the story) stapled to the petition. Later on, these people would be interviewed by the media regarding their views. They did not block the display but conversely brought a LOT of attention to the project which led to even more people coming to "Old Towne" to view it.

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