The Tradition Bearers

Rooted in the Southern Tier’s historical and contemporary traditions, The Tradition Bearers showcases the traditions of community members in Chemung, Steuben, and Schuyler counties.

A series of more than 30 photographic portraits, The Tradition Bearers is a celebration of those who seek to create community. They honor and serve, create and innovate, explore and cultivate, comfort and care, march and unite, lead and steward, and more. By practicing and carrying forth their traditions, they affirm community making as essential to sustaining the dynamic place we call home.

This project is part of a continued response to the normalization and elevation of the intolerance and divisiveness that seek to reinforce and legitimize hatred and that act in antithesis to the common good.

Informed and shaped by the community, The Tradition Bearers was created through a collaborative approach to ensure a respectful reflection of the people found within. Participants are grounded in their environment, highlighting the context with which they carry on their tradition. Finally, each portrait is exhibited concurrently in libraries in Elmira, Corning, & Watkins Glen and presented uniformly in size to eliminate any sense of hierarchy.

The Tradition Bearers will be on exhibit October 24 - December 31, 2022 at Southeast Steuben County Library in Corning, NY, Steele Memorial Library in Elmira, NY, & Watkins Glen Public Library in Watkins Glen, NY. An opening reception will be held Thursday, November 3, 2022 from 5-7pm at Southeast Steuben County Library in Corning, NY. ​​​​​​

The Tradition Bearers is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, administered by fiscal sponsor The Rockwell Museum.