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The Hoosier Hardwood Photo Project

The Hoosier Hardwood Photo Project

A Journey to Indiana’s Historic High School Gyms Comes to Plainfield Guilford Township Public Library

March Madness is in full force in Indiana and basketball fans are gearing up for the NCAA tournament. Many Hoosiers have begun thinking about filling out their brackets. Basketball nostalgia fills the air at the The Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library as well.

The Library Art Gallery is proud to present The Hoosier Hardwood Photo Project: A Journey to Indiana’s Historic High School Gyms. This exhibit features the work of two photographers, Michael E. Keating and Chris Smith.

This photography duo teamed up three years ago to begin this project. Together they have traveled the entire state of Indiana capturing images of high school gyms both old and new, along with the faces of players, coaches and fans.

This exhibit will run from March 6 – 31, 2017 and features more than 40 images. It will be in the Library’s 2nd Floor Art Gallery, which is always free to view. “It is the perfect mix of Indiana basketball culture combined with an artistic element that was captured by two dedicated photographers,” explained Laura Appleby, Gallery Manager, Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library.

Michael E. Keating, a former photographer for the Cincinnati Enquirer. He lives near Cinncinnati with his wife, Sarah.  After his retirement in 2012 he began working on this project after a suggestion by his friend and partner in this project, Chris Smith.

Meanwhile, Smith has traveled the United States and Caribbean for 33 years making images for Fortune 500 Companies and editorial outlets such as the National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. He lives on a farm with his wife Elise near Milan, Indiana.

Since 2013 these two photographers have been on a jouney looking through their lenses at Indiana’s gyms.  They came to the project from different but unique paths. Keating returned to his hometown of Cannelton, Indiana, to photograph a school homecoming. Smith took his inspiration from a 1937 Versailles Frenchies basketball team where his grandfather with the team manager.

Together they have traveled a combined total of 10,000 miles, visited 130 gyms and shot more than 150,000 digital frames. They have seen many games, watched wins and difficult losses. In the process, they have become true believers that basketball holds an important place in Indiana’s history.

This show has previously been on exhibit at the Indiana Historical Society and Xavier University.

For more information about the Hoosier Hardwood Photo Project or the Library, please visit The Library is located at 1120 Stafford Road, Plainfield.

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