The short documentary I co-created with filmmaker Riley Engemoen, Sam’s BBQ: Changing with the Times, won the Judge’s Choice Award for the 2019 SXSW Faces of Austin Premiere. A showcase put together by the city of Austin, our film screened alongside twelve other short docs at AFS Cinema, which all showcased the diverse and eclectic sides of Austin. Winning was a surreal and exciting moment, and we were happy Brian Mays, owner of Sam’s BBQ, was able to attend the screening and celebrate with us! Click on the portrait of Brian below to watch the short doc in its entirety.
A nice start to the year! The Austin American-Statesman featured my East Austin churches project in their paper. I had been in contact with the reporter Michael Barnes for almost a year in regards to publishing this piece, so it was nice to finally see our efforts come to fruition.
As I wrote my list of goals for 2018, one of them was to either complete or continue this project. The Statesman's recognition of the photos reinforced the feeling that I'm not quite yet done.
Below are some snaps of the actual paper. Here's a digital version too: https://atxne.ws/2KMaxKS
The organization's Six Square Austin's Black Cultural District and Preservation Austin are exhibiting photos of mine from my East Austin Churches project. The opening night is March 3 from 7-10 p.m. and will include an artist Q&A and discussion. Below is a sneak peak of one of the photos being exhibited and a snippet of my artist statement. To learn more and RSVP, visit the Facebook event.
Undoubtedly, churches are a focal point of East Austin's history. As this area of the city undergoes rapid changes to its physical and cultural landscape, the traditional role of churches as the center of community life has shifted. Using medium format film, this project in progress documents the smaller African American churches and congregations in the neighborhood. These churches embody a culture with a vibrant past, a resilient present, and a potentially tenuous future. They contain a rich heritage and perspective that this exhibit hopes to acknowledge and honor.
This spring, I was awarded an Arch and Anne Giles Kimbrough grant from the Dallas Museum of Art for my East Austin church series. What a wonderful surprise! I'm excited to continue and finish this project the help of the museum. It's been a really important part of my growth as a photographer over the past several years, and the award is a much-welcomed motivation to keep at it.