Eyes on Main Street

Black Wide-Awake meets Eyes on Main Street.

At South and Lodge Streets, the nearly 120 year-old shell of the old Imperial Tobacco Company factor, which employed hundreds of African-Americans over its lifespan. © Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez. 

Jerome De Perlinghi‘s Eyes on Main Street is so many things, including an annual public art installation and international photography exhibit, a lecture series, an art gallery, and a residency program. Since the fall of 2017, the latter has brought dozens of photographers to Wilson for a month at a time; provided them an apartment, a stipend, and a bicycle; and given them a broad mission to create a photographic portfolio rooted in what they find there. 

Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez is the current EOMS artist-in-residence. Colombia-born and Brooklyn-based, Ruiz Gonzalez’s work “navigates the disciplines of story-telling, editorial photography, and fine-art photography.” He found this blog while researching to prepare for his immersion in the community and reached out to ask a few questions. Ruiz Gonzalez arrived in Wilson this week, and I’m honored and humbled that he has chosen to base the inspiration for his photographic work in Wilson on the research in Black Wide-Awake.

Follow @mathewfg and @mpbcom on Instagram for updates on Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez’s work in Wilson.