Paterson Portfolio at Paterson Museum
Friday, June 22, 2012 • 8:30am
This summer’s show at the Paterson Museum will be an exhibition of photographs presented by
Bob Cantius… On exhibit will be images from his “Paterson Portfolio”; images from the inner-city
going back to 1967. Paterson, N.J. is Bob’s hometown, where he grew up and was inspired to
start photographing as an Artist in 1967, and continued that work up to 2002.
Bob’s work overlapped with a contemporary, George Tice (another N.J. artist).. who also photo-
graphed there in the late 60’s… …in concert and comparison, Bob’s work has involved many
close-up hours and years within the Paterson inner-city environs; engaging with the people there,
sharing the hope and potentials of life in the rapid transition of Paterson on a daily basis.
Bob’s inner-city work (inc. other cities) has continued and increased in depth over the past 40
years. There are many portraits included in this “Paterson Portfolio” making “connections”
and “juxtapositions” related to “filmic concepts” (cinematic). Bob studied at the NYU Film
Institute as a filmmaker and writer where he received a Masters Degree in 1967… he also
describes how his undergraduate studies at Montclair State University in Fine Arts helps him
complete the “concept, content and composition” … “an artistic communication evolving
within a personal “gestalt” and as a direct tactile experience… and as Bob explains it ; into
an “anthropological, photographic Artistic expression of time and place… as the photo-
graphic medium “reveals and opens to us the passions of human perception and interaction”
Paterson, N.J. (once “the Great Silk City”) was founded as the “first industrial city” in America
by Alexander Hamilton; and as has many Northeastern cities in America, has gone through
many difficult and drastic changes, as the manufacturing industries departed to the South and
overseas…but …the people stay, stand and remain…the communities face new and severe difficulties,
and the people are constant; and always resourceful with daily “solving” and always creating new
hope and ways, for their families, neighborhoods, streets and cities. Paterson’s “downtown”
district continues to evolve and still remains (as Bob remembers it from his growing up) the
“gathering” and “communal” place and focus for the people of this ”hometown” …
Bob Cantius’ interest in inner-city life and “photographic/ anthropological” studies has extended
beyond Paterson, N.J. including cities like Holyoke, Springfield and Turners Falls, Ma. … and
including other Northeastern cities including Trenton and Newark, N.J. and Scranton, Pa.
Bob is also a writer of “screenplays”, short plays and poetry …He is currently forming a group
of “players and writers”; theater and video people in the Brattleboro, Vt. area to develop the
production of a series of filmic/theater pieces he potentially defines as hometown stories”.
Bob Cantius is a very active exhibiting member of the Vermont Center for Photograph and
a continuing exhibitor at the Hooker Dunham Gallery, both in Brattleboro Vt. ….
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