Ken Ashton resides in Washington, DC, and has spent the past decade photographing neighborhoods throughout the world, with DC as a starting center point. He has undertaken an encyclopedic project of photographing communities in the Northeastern corridor of the US, from DC to Boston, entitled Megalopolis. Ashton's work has been featured in exhibitions in many venues including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington Center for Photography, Museum of Contemporary Art (DC), Anacostia Museum, Arlington Arts Center, Charlottesville's Second Street Gallery and Longwood Center for the Arts in Farmville, VA. Ashton received his BFA from James Madison University.
ABOUT THE PIECE:
In early 1993 I started a project to photograph the old theaters in the city that were in mostly African American neighborhoods. They were all shot at night in color to show their true grandeur as if they were still being used. These "Ancient Theaters" are now still unused as theaters or are starting to be used for other venues.
The famed Howard Theatre in Washington, DC, opened in 1910 at the corner of 7th & T Streets. It launched the careers of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, Roberta Flack and many others. This year, the local landmark celebrates its 100th, and is undergoing a complete renovation.