The image above was taken in downtown Lancaster, PA. Lancaster's my home town. Actually, I grew up in a one-horse town just north of Lancaster, but Lancaster's a good reference point. Besides, it's a lovely town. Another good friend of mine hails from Lancaster too.
Melody McFarland grew up in different one-horse town a couple of miles away from the one where I did. Our paths probably crossed hundreds of times, though we never met. When we did meet, it was many years after we left our quiet home town. She lived in Japan then and I lived in Florida. Melody's one of my favorite people. She has a perspective I admire and more talent than should be allowed by law.
After a nearly 20 year absence, Melody and her husband moved back to Lancaster last summer. The reports of profound culture shock I was expecting never materialized. Instead, Melody's found her way into the burgeoning art scene in once-sleepy Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Melody's a biologist by training and an artist at heart. She's a photographer's photographer and I have long admired her work. This weekend, she's mounting her first public exhibition of her photography. Yokosuka in Lancaster opens at Circa, in downtown Lancaster tomorrow evening. If you find yourself anywhere near South-Central Pennsylvania this weekend, head over to Circa and see some of Melody's work.
Melody's exhibition consists of images she captured while she lived in Yokosuka, a city at the mouth of Tokyo Bay. Her goal in this collection of photographs is to show images of Japan that get beyond the expected. You won't find any sumo wrestlers or cherry blossoms, but you will find long-horned beetles and the close up of a crow's eye.
I love her ability to find beauty in unexpected places and settings. Through her camera's lens, anyone can see the wonder she sees when she comes upon a stinkbug or a stand of azaleas on a misty morning. Hers is an appealing and inviting perspective and I can't get enough of it.
I've included some of her images in this post, and she has the rest of them (along with a price list) on her blog, I Like Pigeons Because Nobody Else Does. Break a leg Mel, you're going to do great!