Monday, November 9, 2009

Anthony Eastlering: A Cop with a Camera

Art on the Town organizer Jeni Barton told me during the re:FRESH afterparty at Kooma: “People get on the Loop bus as strangers, and step off as friends.” Once again, we were lucky to have Shawn as our bus-driver/tour guide. One friend asked him to be flexible and give us more than the allotted 15 minutes per stop. Always congenial, he agreed, and treated us like the celebrities he so often transports. It was a blast to trek around the downtown portion of the Loop with complete strangers, all of whom have an interest in art, culture and the city of Wilmington.

We met artist Amy Orr at the DCCA who “quilts” with bits of old credit cards, creating brilliant, gleaming works. We made it to the Delaware College of Art and Design for some short, animated movies. Pahl Hluchan, area coordinator of animation, pointed out one of the “controversial” movies to me. As our group watched some graphic moments, one of my new friends quipped, “We are too old for this. We don’t know what is happening.” I laughed and remembered that art not only binds us together as humanity, it also provides a bridge of understanding between young and old (most of the time).

Anthony Easterling, photographer and 14-year veteran of the Wilmington Police Department, was my loop pick artist of the month. His bold, sometimes raw photographs are displayed at Veritas Wine and Spirits through the end of November. A tall, soft-spoken man, Easterling is a Master Corporal in the Special Operations Division. Some of his photographs depict the grueling training at the Police Academy, where he is a certified instructor. When asked why the men in one photo were covered in mud, he smiled, noting they “got into a little trouble” and were doing push-ups. He also captures moments of swat teams in action, officers on the beat and other gritty scenes. Though the photos grip you with action-packed motion, the vulnerability of his subjects’ faces is moving and even heart-wrenching.

2 comments:

  1. Wilmington becomes more interesting every week. It's great to read about it.

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  2. Crooked cops keep their badge, innocent citizens go to jail as long as officers like Anthony are on the force. #internetdatanevergoesaway

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