40/40 Project - 40 Years, 40 Portraits.
The famed Lexington photographer and Institute 193's Phillip March Jones will publish a book that will chronicle "Mendes' career through portraits taken over the last four decades. Wendell Berry has agreed to write an introduction for the book which will be available November 1, 2010. The book is being accompanied by an exhibition opening at Institute 193 in Lexington, Kentucky on December 2. This will be the first book published about Mendes' work in over 20 years."
Portraits include: Ralph Eugene Meatyard; James Baker Hall; Bradley Picklesimer; Harry Caudill; Little Enis; Pat Madden; Edgar Tolson; Guy Davenport; Ann Tower; Cowboy Steve; Marsha Norman; James Still; George C. Wolfe; Ashley Judd + Eddie Bracken; Ben Sollee + Daniel Martin Moore; and Bob Tharsing to name a few.
(Mendes has contributed dozens of photographs to Ace over the years and has also been voted Best Photographer by Ace Readers in past Best of Lex competitions.)
In the 15th anniversary issue of Ace, local writers and artists wrote about things they missed about Lexington from the old days. Mendes wrote about Cowboy Steve Taylor (1923-1993):
"You know Cowboy lived and had his little 3-watt radio station [WSTV] about a block and a half from [Ace's] new offices. So it would be good to invoke his spirit. His C&W show went out a block or two every day for an hour. It wasn't a hi-power clear channel megastation, in fact sometimes you had to park right in front of his house to listen. But the point is that it was regular, it was honest and it came from the heart. Sounds like an Ace mission statement."
Mendes has an institutional memory of Lexington -- for characters, people, art, sports, and places -- that is virtually unparalleled.