RYE, N.Y. – For his years-long work in documenting the construction of the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and the demolition of the Tappan Zee Bridge, Yorktown resident David Rocco has been awarded the Larry Salley Photography Award by ArtsWestchester.
The self-taught Rocco turned to photography years ago after a workplace injury forced him into early retirement from his job with the New York City Housing Authority.
His photography has been exhibited at ArtsWestchester and the Robeson Gallery, among others. Presentations of his work are scheduled this year at the Warner Library in May and the Ossining Library in June.
Among other Hudson River-related bodies of works, Rocco is perhaps best known for his six-year project documenting the destruction of the Tappan Zee Bridge and the construction of the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.
He has traveled hundreds of miles to document material manufacturing and assemblage, has flown in helicopters to shoot aerial perspectives, and has ridden on various boats along the river under and beside the two bridges. In that time, Rocco has taken more than 10,000 images as part of this project.
This award Rocco received is named in memory of Larry Salley, a former Westchester County commissioner who has served on the boards of ArtsWestchester and the African American Men of Westchester. Salley’s passion was taking photographs, particularly of jazz artists.
Rocco, a retired civil service carpenter, has a different passion: construction projects.
He has documented projects such as the Walkway Over the Hudson, the Mount Beacon Restoration project and now the construction of the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and the demolition of the old Tappan Zee Bridge.
An exhibit of Rocco’s efforts to capture the new bridge’s construction was recently on display at the White Plains Library.
Rocco received his award on Thursday, April 11, at the Rye Hilton Hotel. There, he learned that Thursday, April 18, 2019, would be declared “David Rocco Day” in Westchester County. Throughout the day, his name was displayed on the Westchester County Center message board.