Pat Jarrett is a photographer and editor currently working at the Virginia Folklife Program in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. He was born and brought up in the northern suburbs of Akron, Ohio. Jarrett is married to a fire breathing seamstress and prefers two wheeled transportation to four any day of the week. He believes the low-and-slow method is best for cooking meat, luck is a manifestation of hard work and daily newspaper photography is a surreal art form.
I find that a lot of photographers see Ohio as an endless sea of dead malls and saltcrusted cars on fire in front of rusted out steel plants. It’s more than that. The Ohio I know is tough and unforgiving. I never got a trophy for participation. The Ohio I know chews you up early so that when the shit hits the fan it’s not as bad as it could have been and as I grow older I’m thankful for that scar tissue.
The Ohio I know is full of the best friends anyone could ask for. Ohio friends are friends for life. Sure, we have our disagreements and maybe we fought on the playground in the fourth grade, but after 30 years I know I can count on my Ohio friends. They are bedrock friends. They are the friends who will make sure you aren’t making a terrible decision. They will laugh at you right before they reach down to pick you up and dust you off and buy you a beer. They will fight anyone who means to hurt you.
Northeast Ohio doesn’t have the luxury of a geographical crown jewel. No ocean or mountain range, no grand desert or majestic vistas really to speak of. Ohio’s color palette is a shade above grey most of the year, and then there’s construction and humidity. Because of this I feel like the people there really have to lock arms, look each other in the eye squarely and say “hey, we’re in this together”
To view more of Pat’s work, please visit his website.