Award-winning photojournalist Melvin Grier developed his passion for
photography while serving with the U.S. Air Force in the early 1960s. He
submitted several of his early photos to a contest sponsored by the military
newspaper Stars and Stripes and won first and second place. The rest, as they
say, is history.
Out of the service, Grier worked for a year as an assistant to Cincinnati
photographer Austin Bewsey before taking a job shooting half-tones for Young &
Klein Lithographers. He started Terra, a short-lived but critically acclaimed
photography magazine, and then was hired in 1974 by The Cincinnati Post. He retired December 31, 2007, the same day the Post ceased publishing.
On assignments, Grier has traveled to Cuba, El Salvador, Eritrea, Honduras,
Kenya, Puerto Rico, Somalia, Vietnam, and the Virgin Islands. His photos have
been published in Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, US, Ebony, Jet and
In addition to receiving 10 photography awards from the Society for
Professional Journalists, Grier has earned accolades from the Associated Press
Society of Ohio, the Press Club of Cleveland, the Ohio News Photographer
Association, United Press International and Cincinnati Magazine.
Grier’s work has appeared in dozens of exhibits including the recent “A Joyful
Noise,” a collection of photographs related to music and dance on display at
the Cathedral Basilica Gallery in Covington, Kentucky in early 2004. His work
has been on display several times at the Arts Consortium of Cincinnati
including a one-man show in 1994 entitled “Souls In Bondage: Essays of East
Grier was named the 2004 Robert Duncanson Artist In Residence at the Taft Museum in Cincinnati OH.An exhibit, 15/retro 15/active was featured in the Dater Education room during the month of November.
In 2011 from April 30 to June 11 Grier had a one man show,”White People:A Retrospective” at Kennedy Heights Arts Center.The exhibit broke attendance records for KHAC and received much media attention.
Along with Michael Wilson and Michael Kearns, Grier presented “Let’s Face It”, a series of black and white portraits that sought to answer the question of what we learn by simply looking at someone. Each photograph was accompanied by a questionnaire that revealed some of the subject’s thoughts, attitudes and beliefs.This exhibit was part of FotoFocus 2012, a region wide series of photographic exhibitions.
Melvin Grier also serves on the Board of FotoFocus and is a Cincinnati Park Board Trustee.