Bill Yates: Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink
October 3, 2015 – January 17, 2016
Opening: October 3, 2015, 6–9pm
PhotoNOLA Gallery Talk: Sunday, Dec 13, 2pm
Museum admission is $12.50; free for Ogden members.
In September 1972, Bill Yates was driving the back roads of Florida outside of Tampa, looking for things to photograph, when he came upon the Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink. Yates stopped his car, went inside and started photographing, thus beginning a seven month long project documenting the skaters of the Sweetheart roller rink. Set within the backdrop of sandy remote Florida, Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink is a visual time capsule documenting a transitional period of lost innocence, laid back days of heat and humidity, Spanish moss, roller girls, and rock-n-roll.
Yates made over 600 photographs in the seven month period ending in May 1973, when he packed the negatives away and moved to Providence, to enter school at Rhode Island School of Design. Forty years later, Yates rediscovered his Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink series and began scanning the negatives. In 2013, Yates entered the series into the Photolucida Critical Mass competition where it placed in the Top 50 and became an instant classic.