Home Arts-Entertainment Showcase Rockstein Brings ‘Inspirational’ Exhibit to St. Thomas

Rockstein Brings ‘Inspirational’ Exhibit to St. Thomas


After a three-week run on St. Croix, STEVE ROCKSTEIN: PHOTOGRAPHY 1971-2011, an exhibition featuring highlights from the national award-winner’s 40-year career, opens in two St. Thomas galleries on March 18. More than 110 photographs will hang at Oceana Gallery, in Frenchtown, and Seven Minus Seven in Sub Base. In addition to traditional paper prints, half of the images will be printed on stretched canvas, including some 48-inch panels and even larger triptychs. It is funded in part by a grant from the V.I. Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
“The exhibition’s too big for any one gallery,” laughs former Daily News staffer Steve Rockstein. “The size and scope of it are unprecedented in these islands. We will have two openings, one at each gallery, on the same night.”
Oceana Gallery, above the restaurant in Frenchtown, will host the first opening from 5-8 p.m. The action moves to Seven Minus Seven, in Sub Base, from 8 p.m. to midnight. Music from the hard-rocking band, Uncovered, begins at 9:30 p.m.
“At Oceana you will see my most beautiful imagery… the decorative work. And at Seven Minus Seven I’ll hang my edgiest stuff… images you may not want to look at… but are compelled to. They will make you think and they will touch your heart. That breakdown seems appropriate for those two venues,” he said.
More than 300 people saw the exhibition on St. Croix, including about 250 on opening night. “The buzz word that night was ‘inspirational.’ People came up to me all night to say that I had inspired them. And I think that’s because my work is emotionally charged… not cool and detached. You can feel the passion… and the compassion… for every single subject.” said Rockstein,
All phases of Rockstein’s career will be shown, including his fine-art photography, sensitive portraiture and award-winning photojournalism. “It’s all there,” he said, “my impressionistic recording of motion in the ’70s, my dabbling in multi-layered imagery and my latest experiments combining iPhone photography with conceptual text. Now I can say to my grandkids, ‘Here… look at this… this is what your grandpa did with his life.’ Because that’s what the show really is all about, my life and what I saw along the way.”
“In terms of experience and technique, Steve’s work represents the upper end of the spectrum,” says Clay Lindol Jones, artistic director of Seven Minus Seven. “His images of real life on Saint Thomas… the murder scenes… the housing projects… his powerful portraits… have an
emotional charge and a global appeal.”
Rockstein’s work has been honored and exhibited by The International Center for Photography, The National Press Photographers Association, The International Society of News Design, The National Headliners Club and The Educational Press Association of America. His journalism career included stops at The (VI) Daily News (1979-81 and 1984-99), The Providence (RI) Journal (1981-84) and The Philadelphia Inquirer (1999-2005). Since leaving the news business, he is freelancing and teaching photography on St. Thomas, using the time between gigs to return to his roots.
“When I started this journey… shooting on the streets of NYC… it was all about making art. The word ‘career’ wasn’t part of the equation. But life happens and you’ve got to roll with all the responsibilities thrown at you. Now it’s my time to reconnect with the passion that fired me up 40 years ago. That’s what this retrospective is all about.”
For more information, e-mail: [email protected]


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