Bull City Summer at CAM Raleigh: Celebrating the Art & Craft of Baseball

Photo by Ivan Weiss.

Photo by Ivan Weiss.

Durham, NC — Bull City Summer opens on May 22, 2014 at CAM Raleigh with a community celebration and book launch party from 6 to 8 pm. Directed by Sam Stephenson, Bull City Summer chronicles the 2013 minor league baseball season at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Featuring photography and video, the Bull City Summer exhibition will be on view at CAM through August 31st. The fine art Bull City Summer book is published this month by Daylight Books.

The Bull City Summer exhibition celebration and book launch at CAM on May 22nd will appeal to both art and baseball communities, with an appearance by Wool E. Bull, a cappella performances of ballpark classics by Stella, scratch-made ballpark food from Posh Nosh, a Merge Records playlist and local craft brews.

The Bull City Summer exhibition includes internationally renowned visual artists Alex Harris, Frank Hunter, Kate Joyce, Elizabeth Matheson, Leah Sobsey, Alec Soth, Hank Willis Thomas, Hiroshi Watanabe, Ivan Weiss and Jeff Whetstone. The installation features never-before-seen photographs by each artist, plus a 90-minute feature documentary film by Weiss, and two short films by Joyce and Thomas.

Still from the short film HIT, by Kate Joyce.

Still from the short film HIT, by Kate Joyce.

“The goal of the project,” said Stephenson, “was to converge on the stadium and its surroundings with a team of documentarians and artists and see what we find — stories, images — both on the field and behind the scenes over the course of a season. We hope that what has emerged is a mirroring portrait of the craft and grit of baseball and art, and the community that revolves around it in downtown Durham and the Triangle.”

Bull City Summer will be on view at CAM Raleigh May 22-August 31, 2014. The opening celebration on May 22nd from 6-8 pm is free and open to the public. CAM Raleigh is located at 409 West Martin Street, Raleigh, NC. Visit them online at www.CAMRaleigh.com.

“The Bull City Summer exhibition is an extraordinary collaboration and we are honored to be a part of it!” said Marjorie Hodges, the director of the CAM Foundation. “The photography and video in this show represent some of the best contemporary art in the world. Further, because the work focuses on baseball and the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, it is accessible to all.”

“Here’s an opportunity to ‘suspend play’ and look at baseball through the lens of art — literally,” said George Habel, vice president of Sports Group at Capitol Broadcasting Company. “We’re grateful to Sam Stephenson and CAM and NCMA for this opportunity to both celebrate and contemplate Durham Bulls baseball. We’ve been playing baseball for 111 years, but this is our first time in a museum gallery!”

Stephenson’s last project, The Jazz Loft Project, won a 2010 ASCAP-Deems Taylor award for its wide-ranging outcomes including a book, exhibition, website and
public radio series. His book is also the basis for a documentary film currently in production. A longtime Triangle resident, Stephenson said, “The Jazz Loft Project concerned a building in New York City 1957-1965 obsessively documented by photographer W. Eugene Smith. For a decade it felt like I was living in 1959 New York City. By the end I was ready to live in 2013 Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, to document something happening here now, not New York 50 years ago.” Bull City Summer is the inaugural project of Stephenson’s new Rock Fish Stew Institute of
Literature and Materials.

Photo by Alec Soth.

Photo by Alec Soth.

Accompanying the CAM Raleigh show of Bull City Summer are two additional exhibitions at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh and the American Tobacco campus in Durham. Also accompanying is the book, which features writing by Stephenson, Adam Sobsey, Emma D. Miller, Howard L. Craft, Michael Croley and David Henry. Additional writers for the website – www.bullcitysummer.org — include Frances O’Roarke Dowell, Glenn McDonald, Joseph Bathanti and Beckett Bathanti.

Sponsors for Bull City Summer include Triangle Orthopaedic Associates, the Durham Bulls Baseball Club, Capitol Broadcasting Company, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Southern Documentary Fund, Rock Fish Stew Institute of Literature and Materials, Daylight Books, Baker Roofing and The Splinter Group.

Photos: Available on request.

Interview Options: If you would like to interview any of the writers and photographers involved in the project, contact Jennifer Gardner at 510-520-2449 or jgardner@baldwinand.com

Contact: Jennifer Gardner, 510-520-2449, jgardner@baldwinand.com

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