Exhibition of Photographs of Civil Rights and War Protests

May 04, 2017

May 15 through June 4, 2017, in Faulconer Gallery

The exhibition "Selma & Lowndes County 1965/1966: Civil Rights and War Protests: Photographs by John F. Phillips" will be on display at Grinnell College's Faulconer Gallery from Monday, May 15, through June 4.

Early in 1965, four Grinnell College students on the staff of the Scarlet & Black, the student newspaper, traveled to Alabama to photograph and report on the civil rights marches. The students were Phillips ’67, Hal Fuson ’67, Robert Hodierne ’68, and Henry Wilhelm ’68.

This exhibition features Phillips' archival pigment-based photographs from that trip, from two months he spent in Selma in 1966, and subsequent protest marches. He printed the images for a portfolio between 2005 and 2008. The photographs, which are part of the Faulconer Gallery's permanent collection, are a gift from Wilhelm and his wife, Carol.

The exhibition also includes several other photographs from Faulconer's collection by Hodierne and Derrick Te Paske ’68. In addition, the exhibition "Robert Hodierne: Vietnam War Photographs" continues through June 4, 2017.

 A native of Cherokee, Iowa, Phillips was a student for three years at Grinnell College, where he learned photography from his roommate, Wilhelm. Phillips went on to spend a year at Friends World Institute, a Long Island Quaker school devoted to social change.

He was active in civil rights and peace movements in the United States throughout 1965-66 and photographed several major events including the Second March on Washington, the Selma-to-Montgomery March and the Meredith Mississippi March.

Phillips immigrated to Canada in 1967 and with his wife, Laura Jones, settled in Toronto in an American exile neighborhood around Baldwin Street. They opened a gallery focused on social documentary photographs and operated it until 1977. From 1967 to 1974, Phillips photographed various aspects of the Baldwin Street Village, the U.S. war resister and alternative lifestyle community.

The couple also worked with inner-city children and teenagers, introducing them to various multi-media for both the Company of Young Canadians and the National Film Board. In 1971 Phillips and Clay Boris became founding partners of Toronto-based Cabbageroll Productions. They produced various award-winning film documentaries and drama for the National Film Board, as well as the feature film Alligator Shoes, which drew four Genie nominations including Best Cinematography for Phillips' camerawork on the project.

Phillips went on to become co-producer and photographer for the documentary film unit at the Browndale Treatment Center for Emotionally Disturbed Children from 1977-78. In 1986, he founded and served as key principal of Video Events, where he continued to produce industrial, corporate, medical and documentaries until his death in 2010.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week and admission is free. The Faulconer Gallery is in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St., Grinnell.