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People of ChelseA |400th Event | Gallery Opening July 1st

The Spencer Lofts Gallery is proud to be a part of Chelsea's 400th anniversary by announcing an exhibit of the ongoing People of Chelsea Project (PoC): photographer Darlene DeVita and writer Sarah Putnam teamed up to document the diverse and resilient community of Chelsea, MA through intimate portraits and personal histories. For this exhibit, DeVita and Putnam have collaborated with the CBC (Chelsea Black Community) to share stories that go back generations; in particular, to tell how the Chelsea Black Community was affected by the fire of 1973, and to bring attention to Fanny Fairweather, a woman enslaved by the Cary family in Chelsea. Personal family photographs from the Chelsea Black Community, showing life before and after the Chelsea fire, will be projected during the exhibition.

Darlene DeVita is a 20-year Chelsea resident and freelance photographer. She began the PoC project in 2016, taking a pop-up backdrop she inherited from her late sister out on the streets to photograph her fellow Chelsea-ites. Because Chelsea is and has always been an immigrant city filled with stories that make up its layered history, she soon realized that the voices of the people she was photographing also needed to be heard. When she brought her bilingual colleague Sarah Putnam, a long-time freelance photographer and writer, into the project to help interview the subjects and edit the text, the project became one of words and pictures. Dar and Sarah have received support from the Chelsea Cultural Council and Chelsea Heritage Grants for the project. A collaboration with the Friends of the Chelsea Public Library will digitally archive this work.

The Gallery at Spencer Lofts is located between Spencer and Dudley streets, just off of Webster Ave. We are handicapped accessible. Admission is free. On-street parking is available.

For more information, contact:


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