Erik James Montgomery / EJM Foundation
Camden Is . . .Bright Not Blight, 2020-2021
Dimensions Vary; 30”x40” for the printed banners.
Digital photographic images printed onto vinyl for outdoor installations.
“Camden Is…Bright Not Blight” photography installation celebrates the invincible residents of Camden, New Jersey. This project features 100 black and white portraits of Camden residents completing the statement “Camden is…”. “Resilient”, “Loved”, “My Home”, “Rebuilding” are a few examples of what the participants have shared. The images are displayed throughout the city on abandoned buildings, billboards, and other public spaces. The goal of this series is to inspire fellow residents to take pride in themselves and their communities. As a result, the participants and the viewers will champion the importance of keeping the city clean from dumping – whether it is the illegal disposal of trash or “being dumped upon” by the negative statements projected onto the residents about their city.
Erik James Montgomery is a self taught, fine art photographer who creates relevant, thought-provoking, visually unique imagery. He grew up in the inner city of East Orange, New Jersey where many of his peers fell into the traps of crime, drugs, self-hate, and ultimately, death. Determined not to become a statistic but a success, Erik chose to delve into various genres of art including illustration, dance, graffiti and eventually photography.
Erik’s fine art photography focuses on inspirational, cultural, societal themes. His viewpoint is from a photojournalistic standpoint where his imagery tells a complete story in one image. Erik’s photography gives a visual voice to every one of his subjects thereby becoming a photographic storyteller and an important documentarian of this era.
Erik is the owner and instructor at EJM Photography located in southwest New Jersey. EJM Photography creates personalized portraits, inspirational images, and provides photographic coverage for special events. Additionally, Erik has showcased his photography at various art galleries, universities and community art events over the past 25 years.
In 2011, Erik founded The Erik James Montgomery Foundation. The EJM Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to instructing at-risk youth in the artistic development of professional photography. His students learn the fundamentals of the craft as well as being introduced to entrepreneurship. The Foundation also creates public works of art for underserved neighborhoods in order to transform blight into beauty.
Erik is tirelessly working on several projects including PSA’s targeted at social issues, a photographic version of the Bible and several exhibits featuring his artwork. Through exhibits, photographic books, public photography art murals and various collaborations, Erik plans to make his impact realized for generations to come.