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Sep 13, 2017

Venue info

Portland Public Library, Main Branch

Portland Public Library, Main Branch, 5 Monument Square, Portland, ME 04101




(207) 871-1700

Southgate Faces: Faces and Voices from an American Shipyard

Portland Public Library hosts an exciting new exhibit in conjunction with the Maine Maritime Museum in the Lewis Gallery, August 4 through September 22, 2017. Curious about the gritty, hardhat-wearing workers at a shipyard in their own backyard, Heather Perry and Hopper McDonough from Bath, Maine set out to document the faces and voices of a blue-collar culture existing in their blind spot. Bath Iron Works is one of the nation’s oldest shipyards, and is currently Maine’s 3rd largest employer, where 6000 workers build some of the US Navy’s most technologically advanced warships.

The Yard has a signature of massive buildings and towering cranes on a mile of Kennebec River waterfront. The Southgate, one of three entrances to the highly secure facility, is where many of the welders, pipe fitters, painters, marine electricians, ship fitters, and insulators congregate between shifts and during breaks. It’s a place where these union workers refer to themselves as brothers and sisters, and the Southgate is their turf. Just beyond the gate, photographer Heather Perry and audiographer Hopper McDonough set up a portable photo studio to catch the workers on their 30 minute break and convinced them to step inside to be photographed and interviewed.

You can see more of this work at