Floridian Edge

By  |  April 19, 2016
All photographs by Bill Yates All photographs by Bill Yates

Artist: Bill Yates

Project: Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink

Description: In the early 1970s, photographer Bill Yates spent seven months documenting the patrons of the Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink in central Florida. For forty years, the project sat forgotten until, at the urging of his family, Yates began to process the negatives. His black-and-white images echo those of the master photographers Garry Winogrand and Diane Arbus; in candid scenes of life at the roller rink, Yates manages to convey the unexpectedly profound, with a Floridian edge. 

The photographs have been exhibited at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans and are being released as a book by Fall Line Press. To learn more about the book (and to donate to the project), visit Yates’s Kickstarter.


Eyes on the South is curated by Jeff Rich. The weekly series features selections of current work from Southern artists, or artists whose photography concerns the South. To submit your work to the series, email Jeff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bill Yates has been photographing since the age of ten. After serving active duty in the Navy, he graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Art and Photography, and he received his Master of Fine Arts degree in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1975, studying with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind. He has also studied with Garry Winogrand and other master fine art photographers. A photobook, Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink, is forthcoming from Fall Line Press. Support the publication of the book today on Kickstarter.