In 2008, local artist Brenda Biondo told the Indy
(and this writer as an ever-so-green intern) that it was because of her children that she got back into photography, and that it was an adventure to a playground that got her started on what has become her most successful artistic endeavor yet.
"There's a plastic tube slide and the sun was hitting it ... [it made] this really interesting circular abstract image," she said, recalling the experience then five years past.
Over the course of 10 years, Biondo shot playgrounds across the U.S., landed solo exhibits and now, is publishing a book of her work. In May, University Press of New England
will release Once Upon a Playground: A Celebration of Classic American Playgrounds, 1920-1975
Biondo's interest in playgrounds is as much about the formal elements of the subjects as it is about the memories of slides, jungle gyms and see-saws that were probably less safe, but way more fun, and more animated (literally) than today's equipment.
In May, Biondo will do a pop-up exhibit at the Manitou Art Center
of her playground work, similar to what she did back in 2007 at the then-BAC, which was where she first showed. The MAC show, along with another at Goodwin Fine Art
in Denver, are the only two places where you can purchase pieces (dates for the local affair are still being confirmed).
In the meantime, here are a few images from Once Upon
of local playgrounds, and a video preview of the book.