Striking: Bull City Summer comes to Raleigh

Leah Sobsey-Tim Telkamp, Wool E. Bull

Leah Sobsey and Tim Telkamp, Wool E. Bull
“When I was a kid,” Sobsey says, “we always used to sit in the same section in the ballbpark…the Durham Athetic Park, where the movie Bull Durham was filmed.”

On April 3, when the International League champion Durham Bulls open their season in a matchup against the Gwinnett Braves, they’ll be playing in the surroundings of a newly renovated Durham Bulls Athletic Park. It’s not just D-BAP’s concessions and massive video screens that are new: The field itself has been overhauled to major league standards, with gravel and sand layers under hardy Bermuda grass.

The sight of a pristine baseball diamond can evoke summer in America like little else. That beauty – and the sport’s diverse community of fans and players – has been captured in Bull City Summer, a series of photographs now on display at Raleigh’s North Carolina Museum of Art. Other photos from the series will be displayed at the American Tobacco Campus, and in May, still more will be exhibited at Raleigh’s Contemporary Art Museum.

The photographs “transform the everyday into something unusual,” says NCMA curator Linda Dougherty. “They’re really about the people. Baseball is the force that brings them together.”

Shot by nine acclaimed photographers over the course of the Durham Bulls’ 72 home games last year, the exhibition is not just for those among us who love the sport, or for those who believe baseball is poetry and metaphor. It’s also for anyone who simply loves great photography.

For more on Bull City Summer and its related book from Hillsborough’s Daylight Books,
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Elizabeth Matheson, Untitled
“I am looking for that space in which something seems about to happen, the space between events,” Matheson says.

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Alec Soth, Center Field #1
“When I photograph a person, I’m not photographing their soul,” Soth says. “I’m photographing their exterior features. And I always feel like I’m photographing not only them, but I’m photographing the space between myself and them.”