austin american-statesman feature

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

guatemala

Guatemala is one of the most beautiful places I've visited. I'm learning that I'm drawn to lakes in a way that feels unique to me. They simultaneously excite and calm. At Lake Atitlan, the water was still and glassy, and the natural environment surrounding it kinetic and unruly. The towns we visited were old and colorful - even the mausoleums were painted in pastels and adorned with bright, plastic flowers.

It is also worth noting that Guatemala has a violent history in the not so distant past, which the U.S. was very much complicit in. I am aware that only a few decades ago I would not have traveled here because it would have seemed too violent, aware that cheap accommodations are possible because Guatemalans were systematically terrorized and repressed by a dictatorial government. It is something I always kept in mind.

ANTIGUA

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LAKE ATITLAN

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QUETZALTENANGO (XELA)

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northern california

In Northern California, the outdoors feel too large to be contained within a frame— the trees, mountains, and ocean envelope you in their quiet magnitude. They are challenging to fit into squares, and while I almost always prefer using my medium format camera when traveling, it was a bit limiting this time around. Not so limiting though to minimize the excitement of developing and scanning film from one of the most beautiful places in the country. 

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texas observer spotlight

My photo of the taxidermist Rachel Ahern was spotlighted in the August 2017 issue of the Texas Observer. The magazine's Eyes on Texas column features Texas-based documentary photography, and I was pumped to show some love for my project on Texas taxidermists, one of my favorite assignments to date. 

Check out the virtual edition here: www.texasobserver.org/eye-on-texas-fantastical-taxidermy

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“I think people who are involved in taxidermy look at animals in a different way,” Ahern says. “As much as I love them and love them alive. …At the same time I can look at a dead animal and still love it just as much in a different way. As morbid as it sounds.”

six square exhibit

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.

 

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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.

east texas

With a small budget and an itch to travel and take photos, My friend Jo and I headed east during Christmas. As a photographer, I love exploring small towns and finding people, spaces, and moments that I can capture on film. Since our trip was specifically meant for photo-taking, I felt like I could linger longer or stop at places I usually would pass by. Several of these photos were taken when we decided to halt mid car drive and get out along the side of the highway to photograph a cow, or a person, or a dilapidated house. 

the austin collective project

Since I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, I have always been a huge proponent of public transportation. I even lived in Austin for 8 1/2 years before getting a driver's license! I recently teamed up with Cap Metro as a photographer to collaborate on their Austin Collective project, which highlights the stories of public transit riders through portraits and interviews. I was really excited to be able to work on a project that combined so many of my interests. A few photos and quotes are below. The Austin Collective will be exhibiting photos from the project during East Austin Studio Tour at 507 Calles Street, and I will be participating in a panel discussion about the project in the same location on November 12, from 4-5 PM.

 

“I don’t think about stopping, but I know there’s going to be a time. It’s probably going to be due to injury. I expect to get hurt in a way where I really can’t recover well enough to play again. I’m going to hate it. I just like the competition and the game itself. So I’ll be very unhappy. But I’ve got the gym. I can continue going to the gym and getting exercise that way. But it’ll be a sad day.” - Abe 

 
 

“I have children. They’re my world and everything I do is for them. I’ve had employment to where I had to catch the bus two hours to work, two hours home. It wasn’t a good paying job, but I had to do it. My children are my biggest job. Just to better myself in any area.” - Jason

“I’m sort of a pessimistic optimist. Things are going to get bad in the next twenty or thirty years, but at some point we’re going to be able to turn it around. Once we have more solar panels, we change our lifestyles, and we use less resources. I think we can do it.” - Pedro

 
 

“I was at an emoji-themed birthday party and they wanted the poop emoji all over their face. The whole face as a poop emoji. They made that decision and I was like, ‘alright, we can do that. I mean, your parents might be upset with me later on, but it was you that picked this.’ They loved it. I gave them glitter and everything. They were happy.” - Ruth

“I specifically want to work in gene therapy. You see a gene and it’s messed up, and because it’s messed up it’s causing some kind of neurological or biological problem. If you can go in and fix the gene somehow, then the problem is solved. I think if we could do that for Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s or other degenerative diseases then that would be the best thing.” - Victoria

 
 

“I started taking the bus and trying to ride my bike and do all that after five years of commuting to Texas State. I was just driving so much and I could tell it was negatively affecting my life. Being stressed out on the road, not having time to do things I needed to for school or for work. Just spending lots of times on the road and feeling frustrated because I was just driving so much.” - Sarah Beth

trump rally

When I heard Donald Trump was coming to Austin, I knew I had to go. I was curious to meet people who like the presidential nominee and ask them one question— why do you support him? Photos and responses below. 

"I have grandchildren. A good country must have a military man. It must have a commander in chief." - Marcos

"I don't believe in politicians. Politics has never changed my life in any significant way. But Trump said what do African Americans have to lose by voting for him. And he's absolutely right."

"Trump has a lot of the same values as me. And my husband is a small business owner and I think he could help him." Annette, Ashleigh (quote from her) and Rebecca

"Trump isn't a politician so he's not going to put up with any of their shit." Tim

"Trump is the best candidate that has ever run." Ariel

"I'm a Republican." Art

"Trump is a complete departure from everything going on. I want a totally new effort." Beth

slack capital album art

Slack Capital is a compilation put out by Austin Townhall Records that features twenty local bands. It was really fun collaborating on the CD art design and using my photos in this way. All proceeds from Slack Capital will be donated to Anthropos Arts, a local non-profit organization which provides music lessons and musical instrument to at-risk youth. You can buy the album here and get involved with the nonprofit at anthroposarts.org. A great project to work on and the album is worth a listen!