Two local photographers receive a grant to immortalize the people and organizations of Seaside. | Art, theater and culture

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There is a brand new project underway that aims to showcase the dynamic people and businesses of Broadway Avenue in Seaside. It is called In front of the sea, and it’s imagined and created by fourth-generation local photographer Zach Weston and his art partner Jake Thomas, who is interested in the intersection of art, business and regional history. The duo recently received a grant from the Monterey County Arts Council and got off to a quick start on Monday, Jan. 3 – visiting local businesses, telling them about the big project.

“We have a flyer ready and we’re just going to start hitting businesses on Broadway,” said Weston, executive director of the nonprofit Weston Collective (which is partnered with and located at the Martin Luther King Jr. School of the Arts, located just up Broadway). He comes from photographic royalty: his great-grandfather was Edward Weston, his great-uncle Brett Weston, his grandfather Cole Weston and his father is Kim Weston.

The objective of In front of the sea is to engage with the culture of Seaside in an art project that will help increase awareness of local businesses. Specifically, Weston and Thomas will be producing approximately 10 digital prints that will be featured in a show on and around Broadway. If the project is successful, they plan to do something similar in Marina, Salinas and who knows where else.

“We aim to represent five companies in this first project and showcase the diverse culture of this place,” said Weston. “The plan is to choose a mix of old and new businesses.

“We want to take people behind the scenes,” he adds. There will be videos and blog posts to document the culture of Seaside as it stands today. For each company, they will do a photo shoot which will also include an interview, telling the story of the company. There will be a photo of the storefront and one of the employees.

“Our project will not only photographically document the people behind the counters, but also tell their stories in written form,” the artists wrote in a press release.

A photo exhibition will crown the project (on a date to be determined). In the meantime, businesses and residents of Seaside are encouraged to come up with ideas on what should be immortalized.

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