CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Native Charleston photographer Jack Alterman has a new exhibit featuring the residents of one downtown neighborhood: "East Siders Matter."
The portrait series includes 30 large-scale portraits of East Siders, ranging from all ages and walks of life. Alterman said he was inspired to capture locals' stories after walking through the neighborhood earlier this year. He said his conversation with a 50-year-resident left him wanting to learn more about the neighborhood's history and era of transition.
Alterman spent weekends photographing East Siders in a white tent, which served as a pop-up studio. The portraits are now displayed along a fence on Columbus St. at America St. in the neighborhood. The exhibit started last Friday and Alterman said he's seen the public response, often while they drive through the area.
"I've watched people, bumper to bumper, seeing this exhibit from their car windows," Alterman said. "Which is appropriate because people normally just roll through . Nobody really stopped to look." Alterman said the time is now to document these lives, given the area's development and rapid transition. The photographer said the series has made people aware of the neighborhood.
"The whole point was putting a face on it," Alterman said, "so all these faces are saying, 'Look, we live here. Respect the fact that there are people here and not just buildings, and a lot of chances for developers to take advantage of that.'"