Nicholas Widener is a photographer from Sharpsburg, Ga. He graduated with his MFA in photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta in 2019. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Most recently, he exhibited his solo thesis show, Both Sides of the Old Road, in College Park, Ga. His work focuses on his—and every native Southerner’s—connection to the landscape of the South. By using his family’s genealogy, he investigates this connection by tracing it back to his ancestors’ origins. Guided by letters and archive photos from his ancestors, he combines these elements with current photographs to create a modern photogenealogy. He currently teaches film and coaches cross country and track and field at Woodward Academy in College Park, Ga.
Both Sides of the Old Road
“And my God put into mine heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, and found written therein.” – Nehemiah 7:5 King James Version
I, Nicholas—the son of Beth, the daughter of Thomas, the son of Grace, the daughter of Eugenia, the daughter of John, the son of Emily, the daughter of Frederick, the son of James, the son of Cornelius—use photogenealogy in Both Sides of the Old Road to excavate my familial roots. Combining archival letters, old family photographs and objects with my own portraits and landscapes, I endeavor to tell the story of my ancestral origins in the Black Belt region of Alabama. I seek to situate and understand my place among the generations that came before and the generations yet to come by searching for the ties that bind them together.
To view more of Nicholas Widener’s work please visit his website.