Amy Arbus and her photography have always seemed synonymous with New York. A child of the 1960s, she was raised in Greenwich Village until she embraced alternative education in the wilds of Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont. She wanted to be a musician—the likes of Eric Dolphy and Charlie Parker—and studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston. When she broke her two front teeth and couldn’t play for several weeks, she had an epiphany. Music was a passion… but photography was innate.
In Boston she worked at a restaurant appropriately named Salad Days (a Shakespearean idiomatic expression meaning a time associated with idealism, enthusiasm, innocence, and the indiscretion of youth), where she found both photography and lifelong friends. Through them she discovered Provincetown, and now she comes here regularly to exhibit at the Schoolhouse Gallery and teach portraiture at the Fine Arts Work Center. It was a mixture of excellent advice, great good fortune, and perseverance that led her to find her dream house just outside the limits of Provincetown where she will be moving this fall, much to her friends’ and family’s surprise—and her own delight. It remains to be seen whether or not this will make her an expat.
For her latest project, “Extended Family,” she is photographing and interviewing her friends’ kids to explore their plans for preserving the planet they’re inheriting.
For more about Amy’s work, visit her website at www.amyarbus.com