John Running is a photographer of people and places. His work captures the relationships between people and place, between subject and photographer, and between viewer and photograph. During his career of over 40 years, Running’s craft allowed him to create amazing photographs, and also to create relationships, to seek social justice, and to give his viewers a glimpse of what it means to be human. For Running, much of what it is to be human is seen through relationships. His work, his journals and other writings, as well as what others have said about him, demonstrate that John Running is a man who works hard to create and foster a sense of respect, honesty and intimacy with his subjects that perseveres beyond a photo shoot. He helped make Flagstaff a photographic hub, and has mentored and supported other photographers. Whether with his models, subjects he finds on location, animals, or even buildings, he photographs “with love, understanding, care, respect, and wonder.” ("Profiles," Picture Magazine, 15 (1980)). The humility and respect with which he approaches his subjects invite the viewer to see the humanity of the photographer, his subjects, and ourselves.
This exhibit brings together selections from his life’s work with his words and ideas. The exhibit is constructed to allow the viewer to see the intertwining of his images and his experiences. It draws on Running’s own philosophical ideas about photography as it demonstrates something of the everyday decisions and experiences of a freelance photographer.