In the spirit of the start of a new baseball season, a new photography exhibition by Jon Plasse, “The Stadium,” opened on Monday, April 8 in the Rosefsky Gallery. The exhibit, composed of 10 exceptional black-and-white photographs of the original Yankee Stadium, offers the striking experience of visiting the stadium for the first time.
The exhibit begins with an image that peers through the entrance of the larger-than-life Yankee Stadium. The following photos then drift through portals of a bustling and lively crowd and gaze at the expansive field marked with tiny players, lines and bases. The photographs offer a perspective of deep wonderment, awe and respect for a sport deeply ingrained in American culture. The pictures were all taken in the past decade, but Plasse said that they were inspired by the special times he had with his father when they went to their annual ball game together.
A large typed quote by Bill Valentine, American League Umpire, immediately confronts viewers from the wall: “And there it was, the Stadium, gorgeous, just a palace of baseball.” The exhibit conveys reverence towards a stadium now lost. The exhibit is a portal into the past. The employment of black and white photography adds a timeless feel to the exhibit and gives the stadium an old-world, American feel. Each photograph is taken from a unique perspective; no image is quite like the other. And yet, each photograph examines the same thing from novel angles. Plasse said he tried to capture all the different feelings of a kid going out to the ballgame with someone close to him.
“It’s reminiscent of when I went to my first baseball game,” said Doug Weisman, a sophomore majoring in cinema. “I can see myself as a little kid thinking, I want to play out there someday.”
The opening featured a special guest appearance by President Stenger who, although a Red Sox fan, had nothing but praise for the exhibit. In an introductory speech, Stenger spoke of the nature of visiting Yankee Stadium.
“You remember that day, the hustle and bustle,” Stenger said. “You remember looking at this incredibly beautiful field. You probably don’t remember who won or lost; it probably didn’t matter. It was a memorable event because you were at Yankee Stadium.”
Jon Plasse, the photographer, graduated from Harpur College in 1972 with a degree in cinema. For practical reasons, however, Plasse abandoned the prospects of a career in the arts to earn a law degree. He currently works as a lawyer specializing in class act litigation and recently tried a case in front of the Supreme Court.
“It’s important to listen to the voices inside of you and pursue what you really love,” Plasse said. “My message is to just relax, everything should work out.”
This is Plasse’s second exhibit in the Rosefsky Gallery. In 2010, “Recurring Dreams,” photographs of vividly colorful and textured ordinary objects, was on display. He’s also published three books of photography. “The Stadium: Images and Voices of the Original Yankee Stadium” was published by State University of New York Press in 2011. He self-published “Passing Moments” and “The Light Remains” in 2008 and 2009, respectively.
“The Stadium,” which can be found in the Rosefsky Gallery in Fine Arts, will be open for viewing until April 19, 2013. It stands as a tribute to the Yankee fan and dream-filled kid in all of us.