The World’s Longest Panoramic Portrait of a Three Day Outdoor Arts Festival

By Pamela Brandt

Tim Olson with vintage cameraPhotographer and artist Tim Olson, renowned for his A City at Work project, will lead a community interactive photo panorama project in Washington park during DubuqueFest Fine Arts Festival on Saturday May 18 and Sunday May 19.  He will use a vintage 1935-era camera to create over 200 black and white photos that will be stitched together to become an enduring panoramic portrait of the festival.

Olson said, “I do love looking at photographs from the past, and I think this could be an interesting document for someone to come across 50 or 100 years from now.” The project was made possible by a grant from the Iowa Arts Council to the Dubuque County Fine Arts Society (DCFAS), sponsor of DubuqueFest.

Participation from festival goers is vital to this collaborative project. “I would like to get as many people as possible in the photographs,” said Olson. “I’m going to let people do what they want to do. It’s almost like setting up a photo booth.” The oversized antique camera will be placed on a rolling tripod with pictures taken at about 5 minute intervals, the camera moving a distance of about 10 feet between shots.

Community members may contact the photographer in advance to talk about scheduling group photos, or are welcome to simply join the fun at the park. An assistant will record the names of people being photographed, and Iowa filmmakers Tim Connery and Kylie Clark will produce a short documentary about the panorama project. The resulting black and white photos will be developed by Olson and stitched into an accordion-style book or a roll-up scroll, with the final result to be displayed in Dubuque venues to be announced.

You are invited to participate in the DubuqueFest photo panorama project in action on Saturday and Sunday May 18 and 19 in Washington Park in downtown Dubuque. To inquire about scheduling a group photo in the DubuqueFest panorama project, email Tim Olson or call (563) 582-2435.

This project made possible by funding from the Iowa Arts Council.
Building community through collaborative, interactive visual art, this project serves as a model for the role that the arts play in developing the broader cultural landscape of cities, aids in the retention of young people, initiates a commitment to meeting our neighbors, serves as ongoing testimony to the power of collaboration, stimulates creative thought, and raises fine arts awareness.

For more information on arts events at the 2013 DubuqueFest Fine Arts Festival, visit the Arts Schedule. To stay current on what’s happening, “like” DubuqueFest on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.