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His work compared to Diane Arbus & Lewis Hine, Yates' roller rink photos show us a young & free-spirited America in the 1970's
His work compared to Diane Arbus & Lewis Hine, Yates' roller rink photos show us a young & free-spirited America in the 1970's
His work compared to Diane Arbus & Lewis Hine, Yates' roller rink photos show us a young & free-spirited America in the 1970's
338 backers pledged $48,062 to help bring this project to life.

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Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink: The Photobook

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Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink: Forty Years Later

Now and again, you happen upon something that just leaves you stunned in utter amazement. Such was the case over forty years ago when I drove up to the Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink, and so it is today. It was September 1972, and I had just purchased a medium format, twin lens camera and, as usual, I was out riding around looking for something to shoot. I happened upon an old wooden structure built in the 1930’s in what was then the outskirts of Tampa, Florida. The sign on the building read "Sweetheart Roller Skating." The owner was just driving up. "Mind if I shoot some pics?" I asked. "Sure, but if you want some good ones, come back tonight – this place will be jumpin'." That weekend, I ran eight rolls through the camera. After that night, I photographed nearly every weekend for the next six months, until late spring of 1973. I was twenty-five years old.

The Sweetheart proof sheets and negatives lay in a box for nearly forty years until recently when, at the urging of my family, I finally got it together to start dealing with my older work… to get my photographic house in order, so to speak. The first set of boxes I pulled out of storage was the Sweetheart project. I scanned nearly 800 negatives that I shot during my six months at Sweetheart, did a hard edit, submitted to the PhotoLucida Critical Mass portfolio review, and was selected as a 2013 Top 50 Winner. That led to being featured in Aline Smithson's fine art photography blog, LENSCRATCH,  Slate BEHOLD - Photoblog, the BBC World Service, The Boston Globe,  Julie Grahame's aCurator Magazine/Blog, Black & White Magazine (United Kingdom), HATJE CANTZ fotoblog (Germany), Bitter Southerner, and the UK Daily Mail, just to name a few. A solo exhibition of gelatin silver prints at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans opened in October 2015 and ran through January of this year. More than 25,000 museum visitors viewed the exhibition.

Revisiting this visual time capsule of vintage prints, editing the proof sheets and scans, printing in the lab for upcoming exhibitions, and preparing to publish this book with Fall Line Press, so much has come back to me, especially the emotional dynamics of the rink scene. Remember, it was the early 1970’s and "the times, they were-a-changin'.” Those times were all about the "great upheaval in the social fabric of America" – the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, the Sexual Revolution, the Women's Movement, the counterculture, political protests, drugs, and music. “Old Florida,” central Florida, would soon be paved over by suburban sprawl to accommodate Disney World that opened the year before. The kids at Sweetheart were in the thick of it.

The Sweetheart photographs are more than just a document of the rink at that particular place in time. Sweetheart is also about those of us who grew up in suburbia or small town America, hanging out at our own local roller skating rinks. Many people have their own memories of a gathering place like Sweetheart – a place to escape, have fun, be mischievous, let loose, listen to music, hang out with friends, and grow up.

Bill Yates, Photographer  www.sweetheartrollerskatingrink.com 

Sweetheart: The Book Details

An object of art unto itself, the Sweetheart book will feature approximately seventy-five plates and essays by two authors of photographic renown. 

- The book will be a hardcover, smythe-sewn, fine art photography book in a large trim size of 11 1/2 x 11" and will be approximately 156 pages.

- It will also feature high-end stochastic printing on archival paper with varnish on all photographs. 

- The case will be covered in a fine weave linen cloth and wrapped in a French-fold jacket printed with stochastic screening and finished with flood matte lamination and spot UV varnish. 

Publisher's Statement

We believe Kickstarter is, above all else, a way of building community. It is also a way to tell the story of why we are raising the money needed to make a world-class photography book. Fall Line Press is supporting photographer Bill Yates in this Kickstarter campaign because we believe deeply in the Sweetheart project and we know the book cannot be realized without your support. If you join us in this effort, be assured we will not disappoint you. Together, we will produce a book that reminds us all about what it was like to be young and free-spirited in the American heartland during the early 1970s. You will play a key role in the making of a landmark book.

Classic documentary photography, at its best, is a transcendent path back to the people of another place and time. Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink is a royal road to that special time in 1972-1973 -- when the love generation in America was at its height. The U.S. was reeling from years of war and turbulent social change and progress, but the early 70s was still a time of innocence and exploration. Sweetheart shows us the joyful vigor, fashion, and play of that young crowd searching for fun, escape, and identity in a roller rink on the outskirts of Tampa, Florida.

Bill Yates’ Sweetheart is a recently uncovered masterpiece that reveals, in a candid and clear-eyed way, a time that you only thought you knew. The photographic gaze of the twenty-five-year-old Yates is exceptional. Freshly returned from his tour of military service, Yates was still young enough to understand and relate to this crowd – but no longer part of their world. There is a raw power of deep seeing here. His camera and stance toward his subjects assumes nothing. And therefore it reveals everything. This document is one for the ages. We are fortunate to have it, and Fall Line Press is grateful to be associated with bringing it to you.

William Boling, Publisher  www.falllinepress.com 

Please Join Us

We hope you, the Kickstarter community, will help support the Fall Line Press publication of this book of photographs, Bill's first monograph. The book has been edited, designed, and is in pre-press production. We’re on track to release Sweetheart in the autumn of 2016. 

After making your pledge, please help us spread the word by contacting your friends about our Kickstarter campaign.  Thank you!

A Preview of Backer Rewards

Take-a-look! Scroll to the end for larger views of prints and cards

Take a look! Scroll down for larger views of prints and cards.

    

Risks and challenges

The risks and challenges of publishing a photobook include the possibility of delay, but Fall Line Press is experienced in these challenges and, with realization of our goal, we will ensure the book is published by October of 2016, in time for the Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink exhibition presented by Mary Stanley Studio during the Atlanta Celebrates Photography photo festival.

Use of Funds

Creating an important, top-tier documentary photography book in an edition of 1000 requires the technical, design, editing, writing, and printing talents of a team of dedicated professionals. If this campaign is successful, 100% of the proceeds from Kickstarter will be applied to the direct costs of producing what we expect will become a lasting contribution to the documentary field.

Your support will ensure that the book will be produced at the same level of excellence as the photographs originally captured and lovingly safeguarded for the past forty years. We strive to realize in book form the same exceptional, beautiful craftsmanship seen in the gelatin silver prints exhibited last fall at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. You will find a complete, detailed description of our book on this Kickstarter page.

After pledging your support, please help spread the word about this project to your friends.

Thank you!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    YOU'RE IN

    THANK YOU! Your name will appear on the accompanying letterpress Kickstarter backer broadside inserted in each signed, first edition book (release date October 2016).

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    POST IT

    Receive a 5x5" Sweetheart photo postcard, a signed thank-you card, and your name on the accompanying letterpress Kickstarter backer broadside.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    COOL CARDS

    Receive a set of six 5x5" Sweetheart photo postcards in a muslin bag with the Sweetheart/Fall Line Press logo, a signed thank-you card, and your name on the accompanying letterpress Kickstarter backer broadside.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    FRAME IT

    We will send you the official 18x24" Sweetheart offset poster featuring the first edition book jacket image, your name on the accompanying letterpress Kickstarter backer broadside, and a signed thank-you card.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    THE BOOK

    Receive a first edition, hardcover copy of Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink to be released in October 2016. With approximately 156 pages and 76 plates, two essays by renowned authors on photography, and a few surprises, this will be a book to treasure. Your copy will be personally signed by Bill Yates, and your name will appear on the accompanying letterpress Kickstarter backer broadside, and receive a signed thank-you card.

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    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    BOOK 'N' TOTE 'N' COOL CARDS

    You will receive one signed, first edition book, a large silkscreened tote bag, and the set of six 5x5" postcards.

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    Pledge US$ 125 or more About US$ 125

    A MEMORABLE EVENING

    Celebrate Sweetheart's success with photographer Bill Yates, Mary Stanley's Young Collectors Club, and your guest. The evening includes back door passes to an (undisclosed) Atlanta entertainment landmark, celebratory refreshments, and one signed copy of the first edition book.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    BOOK + POSTER

    With our thanks, enjoy a signed, first edition hardcover copy of the Sweetheart book, the signed 18x24" offset poster, your name on the accompanying letterpress Kickstarter backer broadside, and a signed thank-you card.

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    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    ONE TO KEEP, ONE TO GIVE

    Fall 2016 delivery of TWO signed, first edition books will make a "sweetheart" of a gift for you and a friend! You will also receive two signed thank-you cards, and your name on the accompanying letterpress Kickstarter backer broadside.

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    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    THE FULL SKATE

    Choose this level and you will enjoy a signed, first edition hardcover Sweetheart book, one set of six postcards, signed 18x24" offset poster, a signed thank-you card, and your name on the accompanying letterpress Kickstarter backer broadside.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    HERE'S PROOF

    Kickstarter exclusive! Receive one 8x10" gelatin silver proof sheet (#24/1972) from the Sweetheart project and a signed, first edition hardcover copy of the Sweetheart book. You will also receive a set of six postcards, a signed thank-you card, and your name on the accompanying letterpress Kickstarter backer broadside.

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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    SWEET DEAL

    Kickstarter exclusive! This reward includes your choice of one of six Sweetheart photographs. Your photograph will be a 6x6" gelatin silver print on Ilford Warmtone Fiber Paper, signed by the artist. You will also receive one signed, first edition Sweetheart book, the set of six postcards, a signed thank-you card, and your name on the accompanying letterpress Kickstarter backer broadside.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ONE TO KEEP, ONE TO GIVE, & MORE

    Kickstarter exclusive! Your choice of TWO of six Sweetheart photographs. Each is a 6x6" gelatin silver print on Ilford Warmtone Fiber Paper, signed by the artist. We will also include TWO signed copies of the first edition Sweetheart book, TWO sets of six postcards, a signed thank-you card, and your name on the accompanying letterpress Kickstarter backer broadside.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    SKATER'S DELIGHT

    Kickstarter exclusive! Score an authentic pair of vintage roller skates from the Sweetheart era complete with the original carry case! The white, Chicago-wheel roller skates are a woman's size 7 and boast blue and white pom-poms complete with bells, as seen in several Sweetheart photographs.

    This level also includes one signed copy of the first edition Sweetheart book, the set of six postcards, a signed thank-you card, and your name on the accompanying letterpress Kickstarter backer broadside.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    A SWEETHEART GALLERY

    Kickstarter exclusive! Create your own gallery wall of SIX Sweetheart photographs. Each photograph is a 6x6" gelatin silver print on Ilford Warmtone Fiber Paper, signed by the artist. Included is a signed copy of the first edition Sweetheart book, the set of six postcards, a signed thank-you card, and your name on the accompanying letterpress Kickstarter backer broadside.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    COLLECTOR PRINT #1

    One signed, limited edition Sweetheart photograph - 8x12" gelatin silver print on 11x14" Ilford Warmtone Fiber Paper. Also receive a signed copy of the first edition Sweetheart book, the set of six postcards, a signed thank-you card, and your name on the accompanying letterpress Kickstarter backer broadside. Limited to five.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    COLLECTOR PRINT #2

    One signed, limited edition Sweetheart photograph - 14x14" gelatin silver print on 16x17" Ilford Warmtone Fiber Paper. Also receive a signed copy of the first edition Sweetheart book, the set of six postcards, a signed thank-you card, and your name on the accompanying letterpress Kickstarter backer broadside. Limited to five.

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    Pledge US$ 4,500 or more About US$ 4,500

    A SWEETHEART EXPERIENCE

    You and one guest are invited for dinner in Atlanta with photographer Bill Yates and members of the Sweetheart/Fall Line team at the home of the book publisher during Atlanta Celebrates Photography - October 2016.

    Receive TWO signed, first edition Sweetheart books, Collector Print #1, Collector Print #2, a signed thank-you card, and your name on the accompanying letterpress Kickstarter backer broadside.

    Travel and accommodations not included. Limited to one.

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    Pledge $7,000 or more About $7,000

    THE SWEETHEART PORTFOLIO

    One limited edition Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink Portfolio of TWELVE, 14x14" gelatin silver prints on 16x17" Ilford Warmtone Fiber Paper.

    The Portfolio is limited to 25 and includes a colophon and an essay by renowned curator/writer Jane Livingston. Each gelatin silver print is sleeved in Mylar and slipped into a beautiful 17x17" cloth, hardcover clamshell case.

    The Portfolio is published by Gus Kayafas, Palm Press/Boston, and Number 6/25 is offered exclusively for this Sweetheart Kickstarter campaign. Portfolios 1-5 are held by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, The Do Good Fund, and several private collectors.

    You will also receive the following: two signed, first edition Sweetheart books, two sets of six postcards, signed thank-you cards, and your name on the accompanying letterpress Kickstarter backer broadside.

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    Pledge $7,000 or more About $7,000

    THE SWEETHEART PORTFOLIO

    One limited edition Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink Portfolio of TWELVE, 14x14" gelatin silver prints on 16x17" Ilford Warmtone Fiber Paper.

    The Portfolio is limited to 25 and includes a colophon and an essay by renowned curator/writer Jane Livingston. Each gelatin silver print is sleeved in Mylar and slipped into a beautiful 17x17" cloth, hardcover clamshell case.

    The Portfolio is published by Gus Kayafas, Palm Press/Boston, and Number 8/25 is offered exclusively for this Sweetheart Kickstarter campaign. Portfolios 1-5 are held by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, The Do Good Fund, and several private collectors.

    You will also receive the following: two signed, first edition Sweetheart books, two sets of six postcards, signed thank-you cards, and your name on the accompanying letterpress Kickstarter backer broadside.

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    Pledge $8,500 or more About $8,500

    THE SWEETHEART PORTFOLIO AND A PRIVATE RECEPTION & DINNER

    One limited edition Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink Portfolio of TWELVE, 14x14" gelatin silver prints on 16x17" Ilford Warmtone Fiber Paper.

    The Portfolio is limited to 25 and includes a colophon and an essay by renowned curator/writer Jane Livingston. Each gelatin silver print is sleeved in Mylar and slipped into a beautiful 17x17" cloth, hardcover clamshell case.

    The Portfolio is published by Gus Kayafas, Palm Press/Boston, and Number 9/25 is offered exclusively for this Sweetheart Kickstarter campaign. Portfolios 1-5 are held by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, The Do Good Fund, and several private collectors.

    To celebrate your acquisition, you and up to three guests will enjoy a private reception and an exclusive gallery talk with photographer Bill Yates at the Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink exhibition presented by Mary Stanley Studio during Atlanta Celebrates Photography, October 2016. Also, join Bill and members of the Sweetheart/Fall Line Press team for dinner at the book publisher's home. We will be present to thank you personally, discuss the photographing of Sweetheart in 1972, the exhibition, plans to travel it, and the making of the book.

    You will also receive the following for you and your guests: signed, first edition Sweetheart books, sets of six postcards, signed thank-you cards, and your name on the accompanying letterpress Kickstarter backer broadside.

    Travel and accommodations not included. Limited to one.

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Funding period

- (30 days)