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BCM Hosts Melvin Grier's Fashion Photography in Exhibit Titled Clothes Encounter

Melvin Grier, a photographer for the Cincinnati Post for 33 years, traveled the world shooting award-winning photos of news events, sports and famous personalities. However, Grier reportedly has a secret passion for fashion photography.
Cincinnati's style scene during the 1980s and 1990s is now the subject of the Behringer-Crawford Museum's (BCM) exhibit titled: Clothes Encounter, a retrospective of Grier's personal fashion photos. Grier's photos - including some that have never been shown publicly before - will be on display in the Behringer-Crawford Museum in Covington, from September 28 to November 4.
Grier says his interest in fashion was spurred by magazines like Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.
"I started looking at the photos, then at the photographers - David Bailey, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton," Grier said.
Inspired by these icons, he worked with Post reporter Mary Linn White to create fashion layouts, often in unconventional locations, like the roof of Union Terminal or the middle of Cincinnati's Fourth Street.
"It was a simple process. We never had an art director, thank God. We never asked permission to shoot somewhere - we just did it," he continued.
Grier says that it's the opportunity to create a photo, versus taking a photo, that creates his love of fashion photography.
"It's not like shooting a baseball game or a fire, where you take it as it comes," Grier said. "With fashion, you can control what you want to show to the public."
Grier's photos have won 10 awards from the Society for Professional Journalists, as well as accolades from Cincinnati Magazine and numerous press associations. His work has appeared in dozens of exhibits and, in 2004, he was named artist in residence at the Taft Museum. He also serves on the FotoFocus board. 
An opening reception, which is free to the public, for Clothes Encounter will take place from 6 to 8pm on Friday, September 28.  On Thursday, October 18, Grier will discuss his career and photographs at a Brown Bag Luncheon at the museum from noon to 1:30pm in the BCM Education Center. Attendees should bring their own lunches; but drinks and desserts will be provided. This luncheon costs $3 for BCM members, and $10 for future BCM members. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (859) 491-4003.
Admission to the exhibit is included in the cost of museum admission and free to FotoFocus Passport holders and BCM members.
The exhibit is part of FotoFocus Biennial 2018, a photography-based art acquisition and promotion initiative that is taking place throughout Greater Cincinnati art museums. Now in its fourth iteration, the 2018 FotoFocus Biennial encompasses more than 90 projects at museums and galleries across Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Dayton and Columbus and features more than 200 artists, curators and educators - the largest of its kind in America. The theme of the 2018 Biennial is Open Archive, emphasizing the centrality of photography and lens-based art to modernism, and examining our fundamental need to preserve photographs and to tell stories through their collection, organization and interpretation.
-Staff report