June Kelly Gallery

Calvin Alexander Ramsey Bio

Playwright, Book Author, Photographer

 Seeing In Tempo, intriguing perspectives of landscape by playwright, book author, and photographer Calvin Ramsey will be exhibited in his first U. S. showing with the June Kelly Gallery, 166 Mercer Street.  Opening on Thursday, July 1, the work will remain on view through July 30, 2021.

Ramsey says photography forces him to see and endow ordinary things with a rhythm, tempo, and purpose.  This body of landscape photos shot from the windows of trains moving across the country and Ramsey’s sojourns walking in wanderlust on New York’s Upper East Side coerce one to look at landscapes in a unique way…echoing passage of time.  In 2004 while traveling from Atlanta to Valdez, Alaska, through the camera’s eye, Ramsey conceived of landscape not unlike independent film stills intuitively captured while speedily passing.  The intermedia of non-representational language with visual elements fascinates as visual poetry.

Here, each of Ramsey’s photographs is as a time capsule with viewer mesmerized by image and tempo of the train wheels revolution or urban pattern repetition.  Ramsey’s images whether patterns of nature or man convey an impressive sense of fleetingness as in essence of time.  Ramsey’s images are not merely digital color photographs but triggers of psyche recognitions. Tempo abides the viewer in the visual sweep of each image as stimuli probing consciousness in which liaison form with remembrance or foretelling.

Ramsey is known more as a playwright and book author, having written and produced the musical Bricktop and Ruth and The Green Book, the picture book inspiration for the Academy Award-winning film, The Green Book.  In 2004 along his creative path traveling from Atlanta to Valdez, Alaska for the Edward Albee Theater Conference (The Last Frontier Theater Conference) the concept for this body of landscape images was realized.

“To see with my own rhythm, tempo and purpose is the firm ground that holds me.  My 'dream voice' becomes louder and more visible the more I create through my plays, books, and photography.  We all have this living creative muscle within us."

Ramsey was born in Baltimore, Maryland and grew up in Roxboro, North Carolina.  Having lived in Atlanta, Georgia, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, Santa Monica, California, Oaks Bluff, Massachusetts, Saint Croix, and Saint John U.S. Virgin Islands, he now divides his time between New York City and Sarasota, Florida.  Ramsey studied at UCLA.

Ramsey’s photographs have been exhibited in the U.S. Virgin Islands and are included in private collections in the United States.  Throughout the varied sequences in his career, Ramsey received the Jane Adams award for Ruth, The Green Book, and Belle, The Last Mule at Gees Bend, the Bank Street College Best Book award, Texas Blue Bonnet Award, Forward Magazine Best Book award, ALA Notable Book award, and the Star Review School Library Journal Award.  Ramsey was a recipient of the distinguished Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice Award.  Ramsey is a member of the National Arts Club, New York, Sons of The American Revolution, and a former Trustee at the Bronx Museum of Art, New York.


Born in Baltimore, Maryland
Lives and works in New York and Sarasota, Florida

  Studied at UCLA
Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop

  Seeing In Tempo: Photography, June Kelly Gallery, New York
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Island
St. John, U.S. Virgin Island

  Authored 12 plays and 2 children’s books
2013 Public radio show “Travel with Rick Steves” interview about the “Green
,”airing over 170 stations across the USA
2010 “Ruth and The Green Book,” the picture book inspiration for the Academy
  Award-winning film, “The Green Book.”

2007 Musical “Bricktop,” a cabaret-style look at the life of Ada “Bricktop”
  Smith, self-described performer and saloonkeeper who owned the
  nightclub Chez Bricktop in Paris from 1924 to 1961, Lorraine Hansberry
  Theater, San Francisco, CA
2006 Musical, “Bricktop” opened Southwest Arts Center, Atlanta, GA; had a
  nine-week run at Metro Stage, Washington, D.C.
“Canada Lee” chosen for a Play Lab at the Edward Albee Great Plains
  Theater Conference, Omaha, Nebraska
2005 “Canada Lee,” Ramsey’s exploration of complex career of African
  American actor and civil rights activist, read at National Black Theater
  Festival, Winston- Salem, NC
“The Green Book,” a two-act play about difficulties African Americans
  faced traveling during the Jim Crow era, World Premier, Atlanta, GA.
Read at Yale University and LaMaMa, Manhattan East Village
“Shermantown, Baseball, Apple Pie, and the Klan,” Stone Mountain, GA.
2004 Finalist, 12th Annual Last Frontier Theater Conference, Valdez, Alaska,
  critiqued by playwrights, actors, and directors, including Edward Albee,
  Tony Kushner, Lloyd Richards, Courtney Vance, and Patricia Neal

Jane Adams Award for “Ruth, The Green Book,” and “Belle, The Last Mule at Gees
Bank Street College Best Book
Star Review School Library Journal
Texas Blue Bonnet
Forward Magazine Best Book
ALA Notable Book
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice

Georgia Council for the Arts Theater Panel
Advisory Board of Emory University’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Collections
Woodruff Library, Atlanta, GA
National Arts Club, New York
Sons of the American Revolution, Louisville, KY
Former Bronx Museum of the Arts Trustee, NY

Calvin Alexander Ramsey BioBack to Calvin Alexander Ramsey 

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