Fort Washington Photo Exhibit Captures Life From Uptown, Across the Country

By Nigel Chiwaya | June 24, 2013 12:45pm
  "Stepping Out" depicts scenes of human life and is on display on Fort Washington Avenue.
Stepping Out Celebrates Life
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HUDSON HEIGHTS — Hudson Heights residents have less than a week to take advantage of the outdoor photo gallery that has been gracing Fort Washington Avenue this month.

The exhibit, "Stepping Out," is on display through June 30 on the fence outside Fort Washington Collegiate Church on Fort Washington Avenue and West 181st Street.

The gallery, which is part of the Uptown Art Stroll, is the work of uptown photographer and former Community Board 12 member R.L. McKee. Photos in the exhibit, taken during McKee's travels around the country over the last decade, are grouped into several themes.

"Children," for example, depicts kids and their parents and play or in travel; "creativity" shows street performers and people in unique outfits; and "democracy" shows residents in community board meetings or protests.

"I was trying to encapsulate my optimism about the human spirit and about life," McKee, who also goes by Rough Acres, said. "I' wanted to capture a positive grasp on things."

McKee, who has lived on Fort Washington Avenue for more than 10 years, originally created the exhibit to hang on display at the Piper's Kilt pub in Inwood earlier this year. After concluding its run there, the Indiana native looked into putting the exhibit on display outdoors and eventually approached the Collegiate Church, which supported her and even held an opening ceremony in early June.

"They were overwhelmingly positive from the word go," said McKee. "They've just been wonderful."