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Library News Release

Release Date: 05/27/2016

The Seattle Public Library to Host Mary Ellen Mark Photography Exhibit and Public Programs Exploring Youth and Family Homelessness

Tiny, Halloween, Seattle, 1983 © Mary Ellen Mark

The Seattle Public Library will host a photography exhibit by Mary Ellen Mark (1940-2015) alongside public programs exploring the lives of youth and families experiencing homelessness from Sept. 15 - Nov. 3 at the Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Level 8 Gallery, 206-386-4636.


The exhibit is made possible through a grant from The Seattle Public Library Foundation. Exhibit images will be on loan from the Aperture Foundation.


In 1983, Mark began photographing a group of homeless youth who were making their way on the streets of Seattle. Initially published in July of that same year in Life magazine, this work culminated in the 1988 publication "Streetwise."


Tiny with Mikka smoking in bed, 1999 © Mary Ellen Mark"Streetwise" poignantly introduced several unforgettable children, including Tiny -- her street name -- who dreamed of a horse farm, diamonds and furs, and having 10 children. Since meeting Tiny over 30 years ago, Mark continued to photograph her, creating what became one of Mark's most significant and long-term projects.


The exhibit uses powerful imagery to take viewers from 13-year-old Tiny to the struggling middle-aged mother of 10 children.


A series of related public programs -- including film screenings of a 1984 "Streetwise" documentary by Mark's husband Martin Bell and his 2016 follow-up documentary "Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell" -- will be held throughout the duration of the exhibit. Details on these programs will be available later this summer.


This project is made possible with generous support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Programming support is made possible by The Seattle Public Library Foundation. The gallery exhibit is organized by Aperture, a not-for-profit foundation.


For more information, call the Library at 206-386-4636 or Ask a Librarian.

For more information contact:

Andra Addison, communications director

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