Bill Arnold

“I like to make pictures.  I like it when people put them up in homes and museums.  But mostly I like it when someone comes across my pictures taped to a wall or inserted into their newspaper or on a bus or subway because photography has the ability to show us what we don’t see.” – Bill Arnold

Self-Portrait
California Fire
Bike Path Memorial, NYC
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  1. […] He intends to exhibit many photographs of the same place at the Bergen Street Station. Photography is accessible to everyone, Arnold says. Because anyone can make a photograph, anyone can also view a photograph and take something away. A series of photographs depicting old cars elicited stories from viewers of all kinds about cars they remembered and loved. To hear more about Bill Arnold’s thoughts on work and life, listen to the whole interview here. […]

  2. […] Bill Arnold splits his time between New York and Western Massachusetts. Since 1974 he has had a studio in Western MA and an apartment in NY. Arnold prefers to keep a foot in both worlds. Florence, MA is a small town near Northampton where there is plenty of space and the space is affordable. New York on the other hand is extremely restrictive in that a very small amount of space is prohibitively expensive. Artists require space not only to work, Arnold says, but space for their imaginations, “space to conjure.” And so he maintains his Wester MA studio. The work he has done in that studio over the years has been varied and prolific. Arnold has endeavored, and often succeeded in getting his work into public venues including museums. He finds it thrilling to see his work in commercial venues. The first time he experienced this was in the 1970s when he put roughly 1,000 photographs in 25 Boston city busses. There was no indication on the outside of each bus whether there were photographs on board so passengers didn’t know which busses were galleries inside. Because of the nature of the venue, more people saw that project than visited the Met, according to Arnold. In order to fund the project, he approached multiple museums getting them to agree to fund the cost of materials for the show provided he put on exhibitions in each city where the museums were located. Arnold was both an exhibiting artist and a curator for this project. The project was well received, with weary commuters sometimes voicing their appreciation. From there, Arnold went on to do other bus shows. The format went viral long before viral was a thing. For another show, Arnold gave images to members of the audience who then organically began sharing the images with each other. Throughout his career, Arnold has turned traditional notions of exhibition on their heads. With the advent of digital advertising, the cost of printing has plummeted. Arnold uses this to his advantage. Recently he printed 10,000 newspaper inserts for the Daily Hampshire Gazette. As a student photographer, Arnold was encouraged to have a camera with him at all times. To this day he follows this practice. Arnold has photographed the same spot on his travels from NYC to MA for many years. He intends to exhibit many photographs of the same place at the Bergen Street Station. Photography is accessible to everyone, Arnold says. Because anyone can make a photograph, anyone can also view a photograph and take something away. A series of photographs depicting old cars elicited stories from viewers of all kinds about cars they remembered and loved. To hear more about Bill Arnold’s thoughts on work and life, listen to the whole interview here. […]