High waters on the Mississippi River roll past downtown Memphis on a hot summer night in Memphis, Tennessee.
I was honored to be one of the photojournalists asked to participate in a New York art gallery show where we raised money to help the next generation of photojournalists.
The Ki Smith Gallery held an auction this spring as a way to raise funds for Boyd Station in Kentucky. The exhibition "Witness: Beauty in Truth" amassed 70 images from some of today's more prominent photojournalists, many of the images rarely are for sale.
Boyd Station is a place for creatives, writers and visual story tellers to come away from it all, get away from distractions and focus on their craft without the distraction of the every day world. Boyd Station is especially set up to provide inspiration and assistance to aspiring local photojournalists.
This is becoming especially important in this day and time where many of todays struggling newspapers seem to be losing the art of long form visual story telling or are, sadly enough, often happy enough with iphoneography.
Great photojournalism is at risk. Great photojournalism is important. Great photojournalism changes hearts, minds and communities.
Boyd Station is positioned to teach the next generation about great photojournalism. This was the idea of longtime photojournalist Jack Gruber, who set up the nonprofit which aims to "cultivate the arts in the bluegrass of Kentucky" while documenting the community at the same time.
One of my most popular images, a signed copy of the late blues musician Mose Vinson’s hands on a piano, was auctioned off in the fundraiser. I shot it on film and it was shot for his album cover. We shot the photo on Beale Street in Memphis, where he used to play. The auction was hosted by the Ki Smith Gallery in New York City in March. The event showcased 40 of today’s most acclaimed and awarded photojournalist's.
Thank you Ki Smith Gallery for a successful auction and fundraiser.
Ki Smith Gallery
712 W 125th Street
New York, NY 10027
We were lucky to get a mention in Newsweek. Alexander Cavaluzzo did a write up about the exhibit. https://www.newsweek.com/big-apple-plants-bluegrass-roots-grow-future-art-1356914
A successful online auction of our photos was held a few months later through Paddle8, where proceeds once again befitted Boyd Station. Paddle8 is an online auction house based in New York City that sells fine art.
https://www.boydsstation.org/ to learn more about Boyd Station.
Father Francis Chiawa gave several children their first communion at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Memphis, Tennessee this week.
This church is the oldest black catholic church in Tennessee and in the days of segregation in the south, this was the church where the “colored” Catholics were allowed to worship. They celebrated their 80th anniversary in 2017.
Memphis is one of the poorest big cities in America. This photo was made in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Memphis.
We recently got a sneak peek at the inside of Central Station in downtown Memphis. The historic building was once a very rugged and unwelcoming station. It still serves Amtrak but it is now being converted into a Curio hotel, due to open at the end of the summer.
“Curio – A Collection by Hilton is Hilton’s latest brand and will be a carefully selected, global collection of distinctive four and five star hotels that offer travelers local discovery and authentic experiences in key markets. Just as the word “curio” can refer to something of interest, unique or even rare, each Curio hotel will be different from the next, with individuality being a common thread.” Hilton https://hiltonhonors3.hilton.com/en/about/curio.html
Memphis civic treasure and developer Henry Turley, has had a heart and vision for the revitalized South Main area for many years. When the time was right, he called up his buddies and asked them to pitch in.
With the help of Malco President and COO David Tashie, the Malco Powerhouse Cinema Bar and Grill opened in the old powerhouse recently. It is also home to a large-format MXT "Extreme" Theater.
The hotel is inside the historic Central Station and is on Amtrak's City of New Orleans route, which runs from Chicago to New Orleans. Construction is supposed to be completed by August. Henry wants for people who come to town to have a nice place to stay.
The development group includes Henry Turley, Archie Willis and McLean Wilson.
Henry came from very humble beginnings. He is a kind and gentle soul who lavishes his southern hospitality on most everyone he comes into contact with. He has a beautiful, yet simple home, that sits high on the Chickasaw bluffs that over looks the Mississippi River. He loves purple martins and has placed several bird houses around the south main area. A box of soap chips sits in his living room. His family used to save up the used soap chips so that they could make a new bar of soap. He likes to remember from where he came.
“We look for projects that will make Memphis a more livable city” said Henry this week while showing off Central Station and the Powerhouse. Can one man’s vision really make that big of a difference? The Henry Turley Company has heavily contributed to the transformation and livability of downtown Memphis with the development of South Bluffs, Harbor Town, South Main and Uptown.
The renovated Memphis home of the teenage Elvis Presley (which was public housing at the time) has also opened in Uptown. Fans can sleep where Elvis laid his head as a teenager. http://www.karenpulferfocht.com/blog/elvisweek2018
It was hard to get people downtown after Martin Luther King was shot in the nearby Lorraine Motel. http://www.karenpulferfocht.com/blog/civilrightsmuseum But that is not the case anymore.
In spite of all of the construction going on, condo’s downtown Memphis are in short supply. https://dailymemphian.com/article/4572/Downtown-condos-in-short-supply
The Beale Street Music Festival was sold out on Sunday. Miley Cyrus made a surprise visit on Saturday. Read more in the Daily Memphian (links below)
Memphis Zoo Welcomes Second New Baby Giraffe in Less Than One Week~ Wendy, a Memphis Zoo giraffe gave birth recently to a boy calf and his is name is Kiburi, which means precocious in Swahili. Within the same week, the zoo’s 12-year-old giraffe Angela Kate gave birth her baby giraffe on April 9, 2019. These births bring the Memphis Zoo’s reticulated giraffe herd to 11. Reticulated giraffes are considered endangered, with only 11,000 remaining in the wild and a population that is declining. Memphis Zoo, located in Memphis, Tennessee, is home to more than 4,500 animals representing more than 500 different species.
Here you can see as the newest baby was introduced to his daddy Nikalaus gets to meet his babies.
I also happened to catch Giraffe vocalizations from the baby. It was the first time I had heard that. You can hear it too in this video.
Below you will find shorter video of just the baby giraffe vocalizations.
UPDATE FROM THE ZOO APRIL 25th, 2019-
“We’ve had a lot of questions about our most recent baby giraffe Ali, born just days after our boy Kiburi joined the herd earlier this month. Ali’s had quite the journey over the last few weeks, but we are happy to say she is back at Memphis Zoo on stall rest.” ~The Memphis Zoo
Holiday Wonders at the Garden opens Friday, November 23rd and runs (select nights) through December 30th.
Jackson, Gasol lead Grizzlies past Kings 112-104
MEMPHIS TIGERS BEAT YALE BULLDOGS IN OVERTIME
“What I did was, I prayed to God before I shot every free throw,” Harris said. “He came through for me.” From Geoff Calkins story- Daily Memphian
Bishop Martin Holley- Photo Gallery In Review.Read More
AUG. 2018 ~~Women leave kisses on the wall of what was once the bedroom of Elvis Presley. This apartment, was home to Elvis Presley during his teenage years in Memphis. It is now open for tours.
Elvis fans can sleep in Elvis's bedroom, eat in the kitchen he ate in and sit in the halls where he played guitar because NOW they rent out the unit by the night for $250.00.
Presley lived in public housing with his family at Lauderdale Court before he reached stardom in 1956 as an entertainer. Regular tenants have occupied the income based apartment all theses years until what was Lauderdale Courts public housing underwent renovations. The units are now called Uptown Square apartments. Elvis lived there with his parents at 185 Winchester, apartment 328, from 1949 until 1953. The unit has been decorated to look like it would have during that time and then personalized with photos of Elvis and his family.
Uptown Square is just north of downtown Memphis.
Need you ask? Yes, I left a lip print of my own for the king.
© Karen Pulfer Focht
August 11, 2018-
Today Andy Childs, Joel Weinshanker (left) (managing owner of EPE), and Lisa Marie Presley took the stage at Elvis Presley's Memphis at Graceland on Saturday to discuss the release of the latest album Where No One Stands Alone. Lisa Marie became emotional. Elvis and Lisa Marie Presley sing a duet on 'new' Elvis gospel album. Lisa said about working on this album "this is the best experience I have ever had." Her business partner and the albums co-producer Joel Weinshanker said of Elvis "What he’d want more than anything in the world is for Lisa to have some peace.
Lisa Marie Presley opened up about how she has overcome her addiction to drugs this week in Memphis.
Aug 13- 2018
Elvis fans renewed their vows in the brand new Graceland Chapel in the Woods at Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee during the 2018 Elvis Week Celebrations.
Jesse Lee Bond Lynching Prayer Vigil.Read More
The American Queen Riverboat Cruise Memphis to New OrleansRead More