Jennifer Kane Coplon
Discovering Blackstone Square
I moved to the South End of Boston almost seventeen years ago from Lexington, Massachusetts, a bucolic suburb of Boston that is known for its beautiful landscapes, lovely homes, and historic sites. It took some time to adjust to life in Boston, with its dense population, minimal outdoor play space, and sometimes deafening street noises. Over time I have developed a totally different definition of what is beautiful in Boston—with its compelling energy; unexpected and constantly changing views; and parks full with people speaking many languages, prancing dogs, and bench-resting individuals. Nothing is static; the vitality is infectious.
This body of work depicts one South End neighborhood park, Blackstone Square, from many points of view and at different times of day and weather conditions during the year. The park represents for me the pulse of my neighborhood. I am drawn by its intrigue and mystery, by puddle reflections after a rainstorm and from a fountain pool at sunrise. Park railings no longer keep me out but rather beckon me to come inside.
Blackstone Square is never the same. The light and the park drama continuously change. The dynamism is hypnotic, particularly through the lens of a camera that captures ever-new perspectives.
Jennifer Kane Coplon incorporates a passion for diverse neighborhood life into her photography. As a social worker who practices in the community in which she lives, Coplon is particularly interested in how the urban environment supports—yet also hinders—those with fewer resources. Since 1998, she and her husband have chosen to live in the South End of Boston because of its longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. She is currently photographing neighborhood parks that represent a place where all are welcome and take advantage of urban space.
Coplon also photographs elders domestically and world-wide, combining their stories and photographs in “appreciative inquiries” that depict these elders from a positive, resilient perspective. In words and images she has focused on homeless elders in Boston, grandparents in Uganda, and senior-housing residents in Israel. In 2013, Coplon exhibited photographs and narratives of the Ugandan elders at two Boston public libraries and at Gerontological Society meetings in New Orleans.
Coplon has also shown her work at universities and non-profit organizations in the Boston area. She has studied with David Hilliard, Georgie Friedman, Caleb Cole, Constantine Manos, Karin Rosenthal and Meg Birnbaum.
Contact Jennifer Kane Coplon