Speaking of Bernal celebrities… Neighbor Joseph Blum is a professional photographer who lives on the north side of Folsom Street. He was a boilermaker and welder for 25 years before he took up the camera, but his roots shine through in his photos, which capture the technical craftsmanship required to build large-scale, industrial infrastructure.
Fortuitously, then, Neighbor Joe has worked with Caltrans for more than a decade to document the construction of the new Eastern Span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge. His photographs of the project are stunning, yet they are also intimate and iconic in a way that will be treasured by historians and infrastructure geeks for many decades to come.
That’s why we beamed with neighborly pride when Neighbor Joe sent us a note to invite all Citizens of Bernalwood to come see his Bay Bridge photos:
I have two exhibits now which honor and document the workers who have built the new East Span of the Bay Bridge.
I have lived on Bernal since 1975 and I have been photographing the construction of the new bridge since 1998. I have spent a lot of time out on the bridge, and it is always great to look out from top of the new tower at our beautiful Bernal Hill, where I often walk to renew and relax and view the rising of the moon.
(SIDE NOTE: Bernal does look rather glamorous from that angle, doesn’t it?)
Anyhow, you can see some of Neighbor Joe’s Bay Bridge work online, and here the details on the exhibits where you can see his mind-blowing photos in person.
He has a show up right now in City Hall (!!!), with an artist reception happening tomorrow, July 11:
The Bridge Builders by Joseph A. Blum
Exhibition Dates: June 24 through September 27, 2013
Artist Reception: Thursday, July 11 5:30-7:30 pm
San Francisco City Hall, ground floor
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102
Free and open to the public.
Then, in August, his second show will open:
A View from the Bridge:
Documenting the Construction of the Skyway and Foundations of the New East Span of the Bay Bridge 1998–2005
Black and White Photographs by Joseph A. Blum
August 3 – October 3, 2013
Opening Reception, Harvey Milk Photo Center
Saturday, August 3, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Harvey Milk Photo Center
50 Scott St San Francisco, CA 94117 • (415) 554–9522
Tuesday – Thursday: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
*Please call ahead for viewing. Gallery is closed on Sunday, Monday & Friday.
PHOTOS: Joseph Blum Photography