The Porch-Rait Project

Come support a few of our ASMP members in their personal project! Text originally Posted on Cape Ann Museum website.

Sept. 17, 2020 — Oct. 25, 2020

On View at the Cape Ann Museum Green — free and open to the public. Advance registration is required at this time. Reservations and additional information can be found here.

A Community-Wide Initiative to Benefit The Open Door

In March of this year, early in the pandemic, photographers Jason Grow, Paul Cary Goldberg, Shawn Henry and Bill Sumner organized the Porch-Rait Project. Their aim was to persuade families to pose for photographs outside their homes and, in exchange, that families contribute to The Open Door, a nonprofit agency headquartered in Gloucester that helps those in need.

The first portraits were shot in early April, just a few weeks after the pandemic hit the North Shore. Over the course of a few short weeks, Jason, Paul, Shawn and Bill captured images of 245 families and raised just over $30,000 for The Open Door, an amazing accomplishment and a testament to the generosity of our community.

The portraits in the Porch-Rait Project show a range of families: parents with energetic youngsters, teenagers awkwardly being embraced by their parents, people isolating alone and in multi-generational pods. The portraits invite us to imagine what life might be like inside homes, behind parted curtains, beyond storm doors. And if you look closely, the photographs show hints of spring, of rebirth: hyacinth bulbs poking up through the earth, kids in bare feet and windows thrown open. As a whole, the images make us feel good about who we are and remind us of the comfort and familiarity of home. But the photographs do not show us everyone and they remind us of the disparities that exist among the many households that make up our beloved community. They remind us of those who are homeless, those who go without meals, and those who are forced to make painful decisions between paying the rent or paying for medicine. Although we are all weathering the same storm, we are not all in the same boat. And it is that awareness that was the genesis of the Porch-Rait Project, an acknowledgement that we all need to look after each other, particularly in times like these.

A selection of photographs from The Porch-Rait Project will be installed in the Janet and William Ellery James Center as the inaugural exhibition opening September 17, 2020 at the Cape Ann Museum Green.

Viewing is free and open to the public, but advance registration for timed tickets is required. For more COVID safety protocol information and to register online, please visit