Peter Simon to speak tonight

Photo by Peter Simon

Posted August 24, 2006

Photojournalist Peter Simon of Chilmark will share his life story and collected work tonight, Aug. 24, at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury. His presentation, "Through the Lens: A Life filled with History, Friendships and Addiction" will feature images from his archives, and commentary on the events that surrounded and inspired them.

According to a press release submitted by Mr. Simon, for more than 40 years he has photographed some of the nation's most memorable events, from the protest-filled 1960s, manifestations of the counterculture including hippie communes, nude beaches, the New Age Movement, top names in rock music and reggae, to the natural beauty of the Vineyard.

Mr. Simon will speak about his art, privileged background, alternative lifestyle explorations, and an addictive personality that finally turned his life into a dysfunctional nightmare.

A number of drunken driving arrests wound him up in the Edgartown jail, and then in a rehabilitation facility in Florida. He has been sober since summer, 2004, and is active in the recovery community on the Vineyard. "While I wish this illness upon no one, I certainly have gained a good deal of compassion and humility along the way. My main focus now is just to help others achieve the sense of purpose, passion, and dignity that seems to surface after a long period of abstinence," he writes in the press release.

According to Mr. Simon, he believes his photography is more consistent now, with a renewed sense of balance and precision. The final portion of tonight's presentation will feature his pictures taken over the last two years. The Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust, one of Mr. Simon's favorite charities, will be the beneficiaries of a $10 donation at the door.

Peter Simon presentation, Thursday, Aug. 24, 8 pm, Grange Hall, State Rd., West Tisbury. Requested donations $10. For more information, call 508-645-9575.