February 19, 1981
Photographer Janet Beller spoke in the College Center Gallery, where 26 of her photographs— formal black and white portraits taken over a three-year period of sidewalk eccentrics in New York City—were on display. Comparing, in The Miscellany News, Beller's work with that of photojournalists, James Gardner '83 wrote, "Beller...is a portraitist, though her subjects, rather than sitting stiffly in tuxedos at weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, are prtrayed in their habitual clothes (or carrying them in shopping bags), as they proceed through New York City on their daily voyage of determined extravagancy.... She is always careful to represent individuals, rather than anonyous participants in the drama of the street, or statistical embodiments of one or another societal trend."
Reviewing Beller’s Street People, published by Macmillan in 1980, in The New York Times, Michael deCourcy Hinds asked “Where else but on the sidewalks of New York could you bump into the Lone Ranger, Macbeth, Uncle Sam and Betsy Ross? Or see the Snake Lady twist boa constrictors around her neck and get a quick review of the last 100,000 years of the ‘History of the Human Family?’”