Art in the City 2019 – The Calm Before the Storm / by Jeremy Mudd

My Mamiya 645 Pro with grip and metered prism finder. This is a nice, fairly compact medium format set-up that works great for street photography. Drawbacks? Manual Focus and weight.

Friday August 2nd 2019 was a beautiful day. Not too hot, light breeze, and gorgeous skies. Renee and I were excited to head to Downtown Dayton for Art in the City once again.

If you read my blogpost last year, we went and I shot with some Delta 3200 in my Nikon F5. This year I brought my Mamiya 645 Pro medium format camera with me and some Ilford HP5+ that I wanted to push to ISO 1600. I felt that this speed coupled with the fast 80mm f/2.8 lens would probably cover the wide range of light and action that I’d encounter.

After some great food and drink at Salar in the Oregon District, we walked over to Third Street to the Carrs’ Photography studio to see some of Eric’s work on display. Eric was one of the chosen artists once again this year to have his work displayed and people were able to vote on their favorites. I’m a sucker for lone tree photos and Eric had several great ones on display.

In addition to being a sucker for lone tree images, I also love lone chair images. This was in the Carrs’ studio and the light coming thru the window drew me in. To me this scene was a stark contrast to all of the activity going on outside and throughout the rest of the city.

From there we went to Courthouse Square and Renee contributed to a large gem mosaic by glueing some pieces in. There was live music on stage and lots of people.

Come one, come all. Big and Small.

Then we walked to the Schuster Center to see more art, listen to an opera singer and a bluegrass band, and grab a drink. I love the interior of the Schuster and am always photographing it when I am inside.

Inside the Schuster.

After that we made the short walk to the Victoria Theatre, and were treated to being able to walk around the empty theatre and try out the booth we’ve always wanted to sit in on the right side. The Victoria is one of my favorite theatres, and is 153 years old. If only those walls could talk.

Everywhere is a stage.

The Scoom Squad in full march - they were at last year’s event and once again didn’t disappoint. I love these guys.

We headed to the Levitt Pavilion after that. On the way there were lots of street artists, musicians, magicians, you name it. It was overload. In a good way. At the Levitt we watched people dancing and having a great time, and heard some great music – Check out “Ernie Johnson From Detroit”. I actually think they are from Cincinnati and not Detroit, but they were great anyway!

Hoops and Music at the Levitt Pavillion.

Art and Architecture on Main Street.

By that time we had walked almost 5 miles and wanted to get up early the next day to hike, so we headed back to where we parked in the Oregon District to head home. On the way, Renee and I talked about how great it is that Dayton has grown the downtown into a place that people WANT to go to again. 10 years ago it was a ghost-town after 5pm and on weekends. Now it’s a vibrant, cultural city.

Free Taxi - must pedal.

We didn’t know the violence that would erupt the next night at 1:05am.

I won’t even dignify the shooter by putting his name here. 9 innocent people dead and 27 injured in less than 1 minute. Mass shootings are a horrible thing – but you never expect one to happen in your own back yard. Until it does.

My heart goes out to the victims and their loved ones.

I don’t want Dayton to be defined by this tragedy – but rather how people came together during and afterwards to help each other. As time goes by and we eventually learn more about the killer’s life and motives, hopefully there is something we can learn and as a society find a way to stop these from happening in the future.

What can I do to help? The same things that you can, and should, do.

1.      USE YOUR VOICE – contact your local, state, and federal representatives to demand that something be done to enact laws and processes to help prevent these terrible acts.

2.      VOTE YOUR VOICE – If the current crop of elected officials aren’t doing what needs to be done, put someone in there who will.

3.      SPEND TIME WITH LOVED ONES – the signs for this shooter were all there before this happened. If anyone you know is showing signs of mental illness or proclivities to harm others, do something. And besides that, time is short. You never know how long you have with someone. Do the most with it.

4.      DONATE to the Dayton Oregon District Tragedy fund: