Unsung Heroes Portrait Gallery
THE UNSUNG HEROES PORTRAIT SERIES
I began the Unsung Heroes series in 1991 with portraits of New York City Firefighters. The concept behind the series is to portray the anonymous civil servants we take for granted, and bring their images to a wider audience by exhibiting the works as posters on the street. In particular, I am interested in representing people who are nearly invisible in the force; Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and women. After three years petitioning the Clinton White House and the Mayor of New York, the New York City Fire Department purchased rights to use the image of firefighter Sheldon Wright to promote the Fire Cadet Program. This was a citywide poster series installed by the MTA in the subways and bus shelters. It was the first time in the more than 150 year history of the department that an African-American firefighter was used publicly as a representative of the FDNY. The portraits have been exhibited at the New York City Fire Museum, at Brooklyn Union Gas Corporate Headquarters, and City Hall's Tweed Gallery, where I was honored in 1995 by Mayor Giuliani in a formal ceremony.
My goal is to continue documenting our nation's firefighters, and to have the collection available to be viewed by the public in a permanent venue.