Along Bayou Road: Photographs by Michael M. Koehler

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Exhibition on view: Wednesday, October 6–Wednesday, October 27, 2010 Opening reception with the artist: October 6, 7:00-9:00 pm Artist talk: Wednesday, October 13, 7:00 pm

Location: GalleryBar, 120 Orchard Street (between Delancey and Rivington Streets), NYC/ 212-529-2266/ Gallery Hours: Tuesdays through Saturdays, 12:00 pm until closing and Sundays, 3:00-8:00 pm Directions: F, J, M, Z trains to Delancey Street

GalleryBar is pleased to present Along Bayou Road, an exhibition of photographs by Michael M. Koehler. Along Bayou Road documents the Louisiana bayous and a way of life in the middle of transition. The Louisiana bayous are home to the largest fisheries in the country and are at the crux of a unique relationship between the people and the land. Koehler’s lush photographs capture the value and vulnerability of the bayou’s deep-rooted culture with essential scenes from the fishing industry, the people’s resilience in rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, and the horror of the oil spill that continues to threaten their lives, and ours.

Koehler’s frank black and white photographs document and preserve this rich bayou culture, raising awareness of environmental devastation. Along Bayou Road focuses on our moral responsibility to see that the bayous are not forgotten and ensure that this is not the end of the road, but rather a new beginning in protection for the fishermen, the wetlands, and this essential way of life. “These fisherman become a symbol for what’s happening in our country, and if we lose this way of life, we lose a piece of ourselves,” says Koehler with passion. The photographs document fisherman who were the first responders after Katrina and were forced to work on the front lines after the BP oil spill without ample resources and protection.

Koehler first photographed the New Orleans region while working to rebuild communities after Katrina in 2006. Koehler has returned to the region many times to rebuild homes and develop relationships with the people and the landscape. In 2008, he befriended Ricky Robin, a seventh generation shrimper from Saint Bernard Parish. Robin––a gifted storyteller who descended from pirate Jean Lafitte––is a true American hero, and became a major subject for Along Bayou Road. Koehler’s journeys to the heart of the Bayou’s ecosystem provide an honest view of the fisherman, hard working Americans who maintain a unique way of life on the brink of extinction.

Additionally, three 11 x 14 inch limited-edition pigment prints will be available for sale throughout the exhibition. 100% of the proceeds from these sales will go directly to two charities in the New Orleans region, The Voice of the Wetlands and the Fisherman of St. Bernard.

Michael M. Koehler (b. 1982) was raised in Philadelphia and currently lives in New York City. Koehler received his B.F.A from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2005. He has worked as a staff photographer for the Philadelphia Tribune and the Philadelphia City Paper, and his work has been published in numerous magazines including, American Photo and Complex. He has exhibited widely, at Leica Gallery, New York; the Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia; Subliminal Projects Gallery, Los Angeles; and the Sandro Chia Studio, Rome. Koehler was recently awarded the Purchase Award by the Perkins Center for the Arts, in association with the Philadelphia Museum of Art.