Spotlight on Seaside

Facing Seaside hopes to highlight Broadway’s business community - both newcomers and those that have stood the test of time.

There’s a brand new project underway that aims to showcase the vibrant people and businesses of Seaside’s Broadway Avenue. It’s called Facing Seaside, and it’s being envisioned and created by fourth-generation local photographer Zach Weston and his partner-in-arts Jake Thomas, who brings with him an interest in the intersection of art, business and regional history. The duo recently received a grant from the Arts Council for Monterey County and started promptly on Monday, Jan. 3 – visiting local businesses, telling them about the big plan.

“We have a flyer ready and we’ll just start hitting businesses on Broadway,” says Weston, executive director of the nonprofit Weston Collective (which is partnered with and located at Martin Luther King Jr. School of the Arts, located just up Broadway). He comes from photography royalty: His great-grandfather was Edward Weston, great-uncle Brett Weston, grandfather Cole Weston and his father is Kim Weston.

The goal of Facing Seaside is to engage with the culture of Seaside in a fine art project that will help increase the awareness of local businesses. Speaking more specifically, Weston and Thomas will produce about 10 digital prints to be displayed in a show on and about Broadway. If the project is successful, they plan to do something similar in Marina, Salinas and who knows where else.

“We are aiming to represent five businesses in this first project and highlight the diverse culture of this place,” Weston says. “The plan is to pick a mix of old and new businesses.

“We want to take people behind the scenes,” he adds. There will be videos and blog posts to document the culture of Seaside as it stands today. For each business, they will be doing a photoshoot that will also include an interview, telling the story of the business. There will be one photograph of the storefront and one of the employees.

“Our project will not only photographically document the people behind the counters but will also tell their story in written form,” the artists wrote in a press release.

A photo exhibit will crown the project (on a date TBD). In the meantime, Seaside businesses and residents are encouraged to reach out with ideas on what should be immortalized.

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