Time Capsule of Vinegar Hill, Virginia 1963 by Gundars Osvalds
In 1960, young student Gundars Osvalds learned that an area of Vinegar Hill, Virginia was going to be demolished. At the age of 16, Gundars decided to take the challenge of being a photojournalist and documenting the people and the community of Vinegar Hill. He did a walking tour of the Vinegar Hill neighborhood with his Praktica FX3 camera the Carl Zeiss 50 mm f2.8 lens and two rolls of Kodak Tri-X Pan film. Gundars' photographs, which will be on display in the Mary Condon Hodgson Art Gallery during his lecture will be the topic of discussion.
Gundars' photographs represent a unique contribution to the visual record of life in Vinegar Hill, several years prior to its demolition in 1965 in Charlottesville's federally funded Urban Renewal program. Historical images of the neighborhood's buildings and streets have been captured and preserved elsewhere, most notably in aerial photos from the late 1950s and property reports from 1960 and 1961. However, through young Gundars' viewfinder, we see the people of Vinegar Hill up close, at home, work, and play, on the main thoroughfares and the back streets of the neighborhood.
Gundars Osvalds' lecture, Time Capsule of Vinegar Hill, Virginia 1963, will present the experiences he had in discovering the negatives, evaluating their use, scanning the negatives, cleaning the negatives, supporting the creation of the exhibit catalog, printing and mounting the canvas prints. He will present what he learned about the buildings and persons as he was assembling the exhibit.