On the Way to Here: Adventures in Photography, Music and Life with Daniel Coston

By Katie M. Jenkins

October 4, 2015

Charlotte photographer Daniel Coston’s retrospective exhibit will share some of his career highlights from the last twenty years on the road with nationally recognized musicians and from local events. On the Way to Here: Adventures in Photography, Music and Life is on view at the Charlotte Museum of History from October 1 to January 1 with an opening event with live music on October 8 at 7:00 p.m.

Daniel Coston
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On the Way to Here offers a glimpse into Coston’s daily life as a prolific photographer and as an audience member. He is known locally for his images that have appeared in the Charlotte Observer’s Scene & Heard section for nearly fifteen years. He was also just honored as Creative Loafing Charlotte’s Best Fine Arts Photographer of 2015. Although some of the 92 pieces featured in this new exhibit will feature noteworthy local events he has experienced, like the 2012 DNC, it has only been in the last five years that his opportunities in Charlotte have mostly sustained him professionally.

Prior to having more chances to photograph music, arts and social events in Charlotte, Coston spent most of his time traveling out of town to catch some of the best indie rock concerts in the region. On the Way to Here will share his most memorable experiences working with musicians, including images of Johnny Cash and the Avett Brothers. The Charlotte Museum of History will also have prints of some of his favorite work that could not fit into the expansive show on sale in their gift shop.

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Carolina Chocolate Drops 2010. Photo by Daniel Coston

Although Coston said that as a photographer he is used to being “part of the fabric, not the focus of the room”, On the Way to Here will present the community with the chance to celebrate him and his work up to this point in his career. One look at his blog and Facebook page will tell you how busy Coston keeps in order to experience what Charlotte and the southeast has to offer and share it with his loyal audience. You won’t find many of his photos online though, so seeing the results of his work ethic that represent the culture of our region will be a unique audience experience of its own.

Over the span of Coston’s career that is represented in the exhibit, Charlotte has evolved as well. Coston said Charlotte’s music scene was “like an island” ten years ago but the increase in venues and population has encouraged bigger music acts to add the Queen’s City to their tour in addition to Asheville and Raleigh. This also has created more opportunities for regional artists to perform. Coston shot the Eagle Rock Gospel Singers of L.A. at their recent Snug Harbor show and was equally impressed with the opener Dust & Ashes, a local folk quartet who was also just honored by Creative Loafing with an award for the Best Local Album of the last year.

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Benji Hughes 2001. Photo by Daniel Coston

Although he currently travels considerably less than he used to, Coston still hits the road to see the acts he is most passionate about experiencing and sharing with his own audience. He said selecting the images for On the Way to Here: Adventures in Photography, Music and Life was like “putting together a record” and he hopes that the exhibit will share his perspective from behind his camera’s lens.

On the Way to Here: Adventures in Photography, Music and Life Daniel Coston Charlotte Museum of History, October 1 – January 1

Opening Night Party: October 8 at 7:00pm with live music

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