Barber shop on Victory Blvd.

Photo: Gareth Smit

Gareth Smith's solo exhibition, North Shore, opened on September 16 at Alice Austen House in Staten Island. The show is on view through December 23, 2017.  

Using Victory Boulevard as an artery to examine the diverse range of communities on the North Shore, Gareth explores Staten Island’s urban centers and cultural communities, and delves into personal stories about living in an urban area during a time of dramatic physical and cultural shifts. His work documents what he describes as the slow, somewhat reluctant beginnings of the North Shore of Staten Island’s integration into the metropolis of New York City. North Shore is the culmination of Gareth's work completed as Design Trust's Future Culture Photo Urbanism Fellow.

The Future Culture Photo Urbanism Fellowship is a program of Design Trust for Public Space in collaboration with Alice Austen House, as part of Future Culture: Connecting Staten Island's Waterfront, a project of Design Trust for Public Space in partnership with Staten Island Arts.

North Shore runs concurrently with Future Culture: Connecting People and Place on Staten Island’s North Shore, an exhibition on view at ArtSpace @ Staten Island Arts through December 9, 2017.

Within the community I follow the story of Dominic Anderson, a twenty one year old trans man whose gender transition is a story of trauma and acceptance in New York's most conservative borough. Or the Caceres family who, as first time home owners, came to the North Shore as a last resort to being priced out of Williamsburg among many others. Portraits in Tompkinsville Park, with accompanying pull-quotes, trace the contradictory narratives that arise when public space is overwhelmed by drug-use and homelessness.

Gareth Smit, Future Culture Photo Urbanism Fellow