Through February and March, 2021, 16 of my photographs will hang on the walls of the Broad Street Grind, the wonderful coffee house in Souderton, Pa. Jackie and I have known Phillip Shade, the Grind’s owner, since college. Jackie played for Phil and Heather’s wedding, and I wrote one of my earliest non-college compositions, a hymn reharmonization, for the processional. The Grind, since 2016, is a warm and cozy place for excellent coffees and really good food. I’m so glad that he’s been able to keep it open during the pandemic, and has even recently begun Sunday brunch there.
Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday, so we’ll have our opening party there during brunch from 12 to 2 on the 14th, with live music from Nellie and Joe Kauffman, violin and cello, with Jackie accompanying. Below is the bio and photograph information on the one-sheet available there and emailed to the Grind’s mailing list. I’ve added the photo descriptions also, which are on the labels next to the frames.
Blank notecards are also on sale at the Grind, with two of the photographs from below, the Vixen on the hill, and the Young buck on the hillside.
From the one-sheet:
Grammy-nominated composer Kile Smith has been for the last few years photographing nature, with a particular interest in birds and the landscapes and animals of Pennypack Park, near his home in Montgomery County just outside Philadelphia. He sells his photographs privately and through Fine Art America, and is delighted to show some of his most popular pieces at the Broad Street Grind.
Kile has gained international acclaim with commissions from The Crossing, Conspirare, Piffaro, Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble, Helena Symphony, Choral Arts Society of Washington, Lyric Fest, Westminster Choir College, Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Choral Arts Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania and iSing Girlchoirs,, with major choral works heard in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, Canada, England, and New Zealand. Gramophone called Vespers “spectacular,” the American Record Guide, “a major new work.” Nine CDs with his music have been released since 2018.
The Arc in the Sky with The Crossing received a 2020 Grammy nomination for Best Choral Performance, and his Canticle with Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble helped win the 2020 Best Classical Producer Grammy for Blanton Alspaugh. He has been performed by the L.A. Guitar Quartet, Seraphic Fire, The 24, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Grand Rapids and Delaware symphonies, Orchestra 2001, and Network for New Music. His first opera, The Book of Job, will premiere in multiple cities in the 2022/23 season. He is published by Hal Leonard and GIA, and many of his works are distributed by MusicSpoke.
Works in this exhibition:
- Green frog, Bowman Hill Nature Preserve, New Hope, Pa., 18×24. On the upper pond, a striking combination of jewel tones and silky textures.
- Vixen on the hill, near Pennypack Creek, 18×24. This mother fox had just fed her kits early one morning, and was now warily on the hunt for more food when we saw each other.
- Pennypack Creek reflection, 18×24. Canada geese far away on the creek attracted my attention, but this abstract look is the actual water surface near them, reflecting sycamores. It was taken with a 600mm lens.
- Great blue heron, standing, Peace Valley Nature Center, 18×24. This majestic animal, aptly named, in the pond of deep green just before the bridge.
- Red-tailed hawk, turning, near Pennypack Creek, 18×24. The boldest and most brilliant red I’ve ever seen on one of these hawks, taken just as it was launching from the branch.
- Red-shouldered hawk flying, near Pennypack Creek, 18×24. My first introduction to this bird, and a fortunate angle on why it is so named. Sometimes hard to see the shoulders, but its bold black-and-white markings distinguish this from other hawks.
- Pennypack sycamore, 18×24. I’ve often noticed this tree, but I was fortunate to catch this late afternoon January scene when the sunlight against the darkening sky was perfect.
- Red-tailed hawk, sunrise shadows, near Pennypack Creek, 16×20. Having just eaten, this hawk rested on this black walnut for 40 minutes as the morning sun rose over a nearby ridge.
- Fox looking over the wall, near Pennypack Creek, 16×20. This fox, sniffing around the woodpile for chipmunks, peers over the patio wall. I had noticed it on its way over, got the camera, quietly opened the back door, and trained the lens there, just hoping.
- Hawthorn in the rain, near Pennypack Creek, 16×20. From dozens of shots I liked this (1/600th speed) best, for the midair raindrops, the pendulous ones, and the splash in the middle. Notice the ant clinging underneath the leaf on the left, about 10 o’clock.
- Dry Branch Creek, Pine Barrens, Warren Grove, N.J., 16×20. I’m originally from New Jersey and love the Pines. Nothing looks like the cedar water (tinted by the needles and bark of surrounding trees) here. A dramatic sky and a passing vulture give context to the calm reflection.
- Bald eagle, juvenile, Conowingo Dam, Maryland, 11×14 in 16×20 frame. Perhaps a 3-year-old, before attaining the bold coloring and fully white head of adulthood. On a cloudy day, subtle hues and determination.
- Young buck on hillside, near Pennypack Creek, 11×14 in 16×20 frame. A young male, just growing his velvet antlers, pauses. The trunk of a strong Norway maple in the foreground.
- Rare piebald stag crossing Pennypack Creek, 11×14 in 16×20 frame. I followed this 11-pointer, who was accompanying a doe, for about an hour, and felt blessed to have seen this rarity.
- Curious goats, Hortulus Farm Garden & Nursery, Newtown, Pa., 11×14 in 16×20 frame. I love so many things about this picture: the colors and textures of their hair, the stone, the whitewash, their flowing beards (and one ear behind one beard), and, of course, their grins.
- Deer in meadow at sundown, near Pennypack Creek, 11×14 in 16×20 frame. The sun was not 10 minutes from dipping below the tree line, and a deer ascends into the meadow, the slanting light capturing whiskers, seed heads, grass stalks, and gnats.