Since 2017, I have been working on a collaborative photography project initially funded by the Center for Documentary Studies. The work is made in partnership with youth who have experienced foster care or homelessness. A quiet project circumscribing poverty, identity, immigration, addiction and trauma from the perspectives of youth who have made it to a four-year university, our work has taken us from living rooms of grandmothers and grandfathers to graveyards to foster care homes to rest stops.
The photographer Robert Adams described beauty "as a word for wholeness." A picture fits the pieces together in unified form. That form may be poetic and fractured or narrative and balanced, yet it is a whole all the same. In the process of making images and portraits, collecting oral histories and tracking down family archives, the stories and photographs communicate both an extraordinary resilience and a distinct period of time in which youth and adulthood are intertwined.
As a collective, we completed an arts residency at The Sanctuary For Independent Media and Skidmore College in upstate New York. The project has been exhibited at the Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick, NJ; the Midwest Center for Photography in Wichita, KS and the Black Rock Center for the Arts in Germantown, MD where the project one first place and a solo show. It also won an award at a group show at the Delaplaine Arts Center and will be presented as a solo show at the Powerplant Gallery in Durham, NC in the fall of 2021.
The images in this portfolio consist of portraits I shot, but the larger project consists of collaborative images made with the students, archival images and a photobook that will be published by Rutgers University Press in the fall of 2021.