Lewis Ableidinger

Lewis Ableidinger (b. 1983) is from the small town of Kensal (pop. 163), located in central North Dakota. Early on he developed an appreciation for the subtleties of a region most people dismiss as “boring.” In 1998 he picked up a camera for the purpose of photographing old elevators. This led to day trips to find ghost towns with old elevators and eventually he started pointing his camera at other subjects. Soon it became a passion to visit every corner and every town in the state, just to see what was there. This broadening view has led him to work on photographic projects with themes in the Midwest and rural America.

Lewis graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2007 with a BS in Graphic Communictaions and a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance. Though photography was never his primary focus of study at MSUM he continued shooting and was able to take a few classes that helped broaden his photographic horizons. Since 2008 Lewis has had a day job as a locomotive engineer but continues to pursue photographic subjects. Lewis currently resides in Harvey, ND.

Driving Through Flyover Country

Flyover Country, the moniker given to the middle part of America that so many people view as boring that it is simply flown over while going from one coast to the other, to places where much more interesting things happen. From above it appears as a monotonous quilt of sectioned off square miles stretching from horizon to horizon, Jefferson’s grid system being perfectly suited for the relatively flat landscape of the Midwest. What can’t be seen from a plane however is the details and the people that make Flyover Country much more interesting than it first seems.

Flyover Country is perhaps one of the most misunderstood parts of America. Some have a negative view, seeing it as home to religious fundamentalists, gun-loving rednecks, Wal-Marts, and nothing really to see (other than Mt. Rushmore); alternatively some have a romanticized version of Flyover Country, one of quaint and prosperous small towns, friendly farmers on antique tractors, and the American cowboy riding a horse into the sunset. The truth is far more complex than a few ugly stereotypes or a Terry Redlin painting.

This project explores the complex people and places of Flyover Country. There are quaint small towns, but there are also towns where every building is boarded up; there is no one archetype that represents the people living in Flyover Country, the personalities are as diverse as any large city; there is a subtle beauty to the landscape, if you can learn to appreciate how it’s different from mountains and forests; and there are indeed Wal-Marts. These are the details that can’t be seen from 40,000 feet, which is why I prefer to drive through Flyover Country.

To view more of Lewis’ work please visit his website.

Jenny Rafalson

 Jenny Rafalson is a photographer based in Tel-Aviv, Israel. She was born in USSR and immigrated to Israel in 1991. Received her BA from Hadassah College Jerusalem in Photographic Communications in 2013. Her work is dealing with the conflict between this to clutters, the Russian on the one hand (which I was ashamed of her for long time) and the Israeli on the other hand. In her photos she is looking on her split identity and explore her belonging filings (or lack) towards the Russian and the Israeli culture.

The House in Mira St. 15

The subjects of my photography are part of my life rather than emotionally detached objects, these are my friends, spouse, objects I found and become mine, or stories I heard from my Immediate family about habits in USSR and interpreted into photos. Through them and through their cultures I examine how I belong to a place, I examine my split identity, the identity that I was ashamed of for years. The gaps between me and my subjects allow me to contemplate the changes that I have went through, as well as the differences between myself and my subjects. These differences can be openness compared to lack of sharing and discomfiture of openness, as in the case of my parents who brought the Russian culture with them and prefer silence and introspection.

In my work I strive to turn difficulties and problems into a visual image. I try to create “order” from looking at the chaotic relationship with my spouse or with objects I found. My work always exists on the seam lines and in the tension between different cultures and different genders, trying to see what should remain hidden and in a unique way that allows photography to organize and arrange the representation of “objective” reality.

To view more of Jenny’s work please visit her website.

Maury M Gortemiller

Maury Gortemiller is an Atlanta-based photographer and educator. His work has appeared in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA), the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and the Aperture Foundation Gallery in New York. Atlanta’s Fall Line Press published a signed, limited edition series of Gortemiller’s images as part of the Free Fall series. He also writes on photography and contemporary art issues, most recently in Art Papers, Perdiz Magazine and The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (University Press of Mississippi).

Do the Priest in Different Voices

My most profound childhood memory involves reading a family bible. The illustrations, mostly Baroque-era paintings, did not function as a mere visual embodiment of the text. Rather, the pictures communicated in a far more powerful language, evoking both comfort and trepidation. The words of the book provided little interest, but the imagery moved me to contemplate the unseen. It is the pictures I remember – not the words.

The imbalance remains when I consider the possibility of a personal faith. While I am ambivalent towards the old established narratives, the semblance of the mythical in the mundane enthralls. I identify this conflict in the every-day: objects and situations that are alternately ineffable, laughable, and at times terrifying.

To view more of Maury’s work please visit his website.

Jerry Siegel

Siegel was born and raised in Selma, AL, and graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta.
He was awarded the Grand Prize of the first Artadia Award in Atlanta in 2009. His first monograph, FACING SOUTH, Portraits of Southern Artists, was published by the University of Alabama Press in 2011 and features portraits of 100 Southern artists. This body of work has been featured in 6 solo exhibitions in Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana. His second book, Black Belt Color, released in May 2017, published by Georgia Museum of Art, focuses his attentions on documenting the unique, cultural landscape of the South, concentrating on the Black Belt region of Alabama. His work is in many private, corporate and public collections, including the Do Good Fund, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, High Museum of Art, Georgia Museum of Art, Birmingham Museum of Art, Telfair Museum, Morris Museum of Art, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and many other Southeastern U.S. Museums.

Black Belt Color

My love of the South, my roots, the people I have known and their stories have drawn me to capture the essence of the Black Belt and the dwindling southern town.

I was born and raised in Selma, Alabama, where family and friends were most valued. It was all I knew. Selma was a vibrant, small southern town, really no different from many towns throughout the South. I was sheltered and oblivious to the tensions and unrest of the times. I was only seven when Martin Luther
King Jr. made his famous march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965. When Craig Air Force base closed in 1977, it was hard felt for Selma and the community.

Many things have changed since then. And Selma is not the place I remember. I have never lost my attachment to and sentiment for Selma. Even with the passing of my parents, my siblings and I have kept the family home and still maintain a bond with our past.

I have shot many photos in Selma, but never with a real focus or vision. When my father died in 2000, I began to see these places differently. Buildings that had changed faces many times were beginning to disappear. This led me to look more closely at Selma and its surroundings—the haunts of my youth, driving the streets, old stomping grounds and back roads. I continue to shoot these places that hold a special meaning for me, but I find myself documenting also the new look of Selma, Dallas and Perry County, and the surrounding area. It is a portrait, a present-day contemporary view of the small towns and rural areas of the Black Belt region of Alabama. What I have sought to convey is the reality as I see it and the emotions that accompany it.

To view more of Jerry’s work please visit his website.

Goseong Choi

Goseong Choi (b.1984, S.Korea) currently works and resides in Brooklyn, New York. Choi’s work has been exhibited at several museums including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the New Mexico Museum of Art. His work is held in collections at Philadelphia Museum of Art, New Mexico Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, and Haggarty Museum of Art. He holds an M.F.A in Photography from Pratt Institute.

After Ashes

At the scorched field in Meji village, the ash seeped into the soil with each rain and the winter gusts snatched at the reeds. There was a bone. The death of the animal was white. Crows were crying. Perhaps they witnessed it and came for the body. His aunt passed away. Father informed him about her condition a day before her death. The tragedy was standing on. She had been in coma. Her body was here but her mind had drifted somewhere else. Where could it be? He thought about the void in consciousness. And He imagined the emptiness left behind. He came back to Meji after the funeral. In the wooded darkness, intertwined branches shone like an engraving. Its gesture and rhythm consoled him. The earth turned a green a bit. The southern winds would begin blowing soon.

To view more of Goseong’s work please visit his website.

Guillaume Tomasi

Guillaume Tomasi is an emerging photographer who was born in France and currently lives in Montreal. His work was featured in various publications (both printed and online) and collectives expositions in Montreal, London and Bienne (Switzerland). He is currently completing his BFA in Photography at Concordia University and he created in 2016 the collaborative project Fiiiirst which features anonymous image based discussions between authors photographers. His photographic practice is mainly based on exploration, wandering and luck. Recently, his work moved into an obsessed research about our world perception based on our personal failures.

Postcards from nowhere

The ongoing project “Postcards from nowhere” results from a feeling I had during a road-trip in Abitibi. Through thousands kilometers, I had the sensation that I was stagnating while I’m driving on these long straight roads. By entering more and more in these similar landscapes and villages, I began to lose little by little my landmarks. This overwhelming likeness forced me to track for every details to escape this mental confusion.

The captured pictures become a way to establish a link between these areas and develop by their own accumulation a new identity of a non place.

To view more of Guillaume’s work please visit his website.

Samantha Sutcliffe

Samantha Sutcliffe was born and raised in the suburbs of New Jersey. In 2013 she received her B.A in Studio Art from The City College of the City University of New York. Samantha is currently residing in Portland, Oregon while she works on a long-term assignment about sex workers. Her research interests include american history, generational theories and the death of the American dream. Her first book “Selected Works” was part of the Infocus Juried Exhibition for Self-Published Books. Recent work has been published both in print and online by Vuu Studio, Oranbeg Press, Self Publish Be Happy and the Indie Photo Book Library.

Mega Nites

Mega Nites is an ongoing body of work that depicts American society, culture and media in the past decade. When looking through the photographs I am thinking about certain aspects of life that are changing. The truth of this reality is that traditions die, businesses close and signs peel away often times without leaving much behind. I use photography to visually archive, record change and remember the past. The Temptation Lounge in Detroit has since closed and the construction wall paper in Honolulu has been torn down to unveil brand new vacation rentals. I am interested in stories from all different kinds of people and places – natives from bigger cities, older generations, national parks and remote towns.

To view more of Samantha’s work please visit her website.

Marcus Menefee

Marcus Menefee is an interdisciplinary artist and photographer born in Hot Springs, Arkansas to a family of painters and sculptors. He is currently located in Memphis, Tennessee where he recieved his BFA from Memphis College of Art. His work is influenced by cultural traditions of the surrounding areas as he explores themes of irony, identity, and manipulation. Marcus has exhibited work across Arkansas and Memphis in group shows at the Circuitous Succession, Taylor’s Contemporanea, No Exit Gallery, Rust Hall Gallery, Brode gallery, and Gallery 409.

Short Haul

Marcus Menefee’s current work is motivated by an exploration into his own identity, memory, and upbringing. Through documenting the cultural traditions of his surroundings and its people he analyzes his southern upbringing. He is drawn to the professions and ideals that have been carried over through several generations and how those professions have shaped the individual. This fascination inspired him to begin photographing the short haul truckers of Hazen, Arkansas. He was fortunate enough to be able to ride along with several of these truckers throughout the semester as they worked, in doing so capturing their routines as they started and ended their day. He focused on capturing fragments of the drivers, such as a hand gripping the steering wheel, a glove dropped on the ground, or the drivers back as they unrolled a tarp so that he could speak to the larger whole of the trucking community rather than just a few individuals.

To view more of Marcus’ work please visit his website.

Robert Law

Robert Law is an emerging photographer based in Wales in the UK and started photography with his own darkroom as a teenager in the 1980’s. Using traditional cameras and film, he specialises in fine art, documentary and minimalist photography.

In all his work he aims to maintain a cohesive style of observation and picture taking that provides the viewer with a fresh honesty and reality. Integrity is important to his work.

Robert is a contributor to the premium London photo agency, Millennium Images. He is also an active in the photographic community where he contributes articles, images and helps promote and encourage photographers. His ambition is to continue to build a body of work of contemporary photography with a view to publishing a book and solo exhibiting in the future.

‘FRESH AYR’

Finding beauty in the everyday and banal, although nothing new, is always a highly rewarding challenge to me as a photographer. But my eyes tire quickly in very familiar surroundings or places that are over-photographed. Perhaps it’s the equivalent of writer’s block. So the opportunity to view another country or town, offering a fresh perspective always provides me with an instant, creative ‘rush’ with gathers its own momentum. Whilst many photographic projects are compiled over months and years, why apologise for a set of images compiled in one afternoon whilst on a real creative ‘high’? The inertia also focuses the mind and is a creative multiplier, I find. ‘Fresh Ayr’ is just exactly that. It’s a newcomer’s perspective of the seaside towns of Troon and Ayr on the West coast of Scotland.

I hope that the series cohesively captures the maritime essence of the area, both where working harbours and ports sit alongside tourist beaches and attractions in a cohabitation of necessity. It invites questions as to what it is like to live there and how people earn a living. Taken in August, the images also question the influence of a transient summer season and how the area briefly changes. Is there a specific aesthetic to this part of the country and how would it be defined in a way all of its own?

As a short project, unresearched and therefore without any pre-conceptions, I hope that this approach provides an honesty and integrity in the way that we often rely on ‘first impressions’ and recognise that in some cases, this concept has validity.

To view more of Robert’s work please visit his website.

Steven Lang

Steven Lang received his B.F.A. from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He was the recipient of a Loft Mentor Award for 2013-2014 and was a writer-in-residence for Coffee House Press in 2016. His photographs have been included in Der Grief, Momma Tried, and forthcoming in Romka. His stories are included in the anthology, Fiction on a Stick, published by Milkweed Editions, The Art of Wonder, published by the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and in the literary journals Cutbank and Slush Pile Magazine. He lives in Lauderdale, Minnesota.

Midway

These relatively casual “day to day” photos were taken primarily with a 35mm film camera. As a photographer, I am less interested in decisive moments or single observations than I am in what might be considered states of limbo – buildings and houses, tracts of land, cars, objects, transit systems and even people that have been in stasis for years or decades but that may now be showing subtle signs of impending change. I also try to capture the human desire for this kind of limbo, or more accurately the desire for stability, which is often at odds with the equally human desire for change.

To view more of Steven’s work please visit his website.

Matthew Earl Williams

M. Earl Williams received a Masters of Fine Arts in Photography and a Masters of Arts in Studio Arts from the University of Iowa. He also received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography at the University of Oregon. Currently, he resides in Oregon where he is teaching at Oregon State University and Linn-Benton College.

His work is exploring how we make meaning out of the world around our existence. The images ask questions like; What is our purpose? What will our future hold? And how are comedy and tragedy connected? The viewer is never expected to find a definitive answer in the work but instead, becomes invested in the “why” and what role that idea may play in our lives.

Where Time Forgot: A Bowlers Guide

It’s about living
It’s about feeling incomplete
It’s about nostalgia
It’s about culture
It’s about joy
It’s about how life flashes before our lives
It’s about sorrow
It’s about what’s hidden under the rug

It’s about fitting in
It’s about getting away
It’s about a journey
It’s about language
It’s about class
It’s about how something clean can leave a stain
It’s about goodbyes
It’s about fiction

It’s about place
It’s about blame
It’s about obsession
It’s about feeling stranded
It’s about itching a scratch
It’s about holding on
It’s about being found
It’s about how we all settle eventually

It’s about desire
It’s about conflict
It’s about you
It’s about me
It’s about future
It’s about community
It’s about failure
It’s about wondering which one of us is next

It’s about the american dream
It’s about right now
It’s about the people we will become
It’s about the search
It’s about routine
It’s about finding
It’s about change
It’s about living

To view more of Matthew’s work please visit his website.

Nicole Campanello

Nicole Campanello is an artist and photographer working in staged photography. A visual storyteller by nature, she creates narrative images based on her life experiences. In her work, she examines identity, the invisible happenings of the inner life, and the influence of external experiences. Nicole grew up in the countryside of Yorkshire, in the UK. There she developed a sense of adventure, an inventive imagination, and a love for the arts. Drawing became a passion of hers as a young child, which evolved into photography during her teen years. At the age of 16, she moved back to Texas, her birthplace, where she went on to obtained her BA in Photography. Her work has since gained recognition, winning awards, featuring in publications, and is shown in exhibitions across the United States, as well as internationally.

In the Interim

For her project, In the Interim, Nicole examines the time and space between stages of life. She asks “How do we get from one stage of life to the next? Is it as easy as walking through a door, or more like crossing through a passageway between two doors?”

Nicole believes we have a transitional period, “like an interlude between acts of a play, that can sometimes feel like a lengthy trek through unfamiliar terrain. Because, as humans, we feel uneasy when confronted with a void. We see it as an unimaginable emptiness in us that must be occupied. However, it is a time of healing from the past; rediscovering things forgotten; putting experience into much-needed perspective. It’s a time of preparation for our emergence at the next doorway.”

The images in this series depict such a period in Nicole’s own life–her own “interim” following the end of an unhealthy relationship. It was both challenging and rewarding for her; “a time of stillness, realization, and learning; a place of healing, growing, and searching for that next stage.”

To view more of Nicole’s work please visit her website.

Tom Krawczyk

Tom Krawczyk (b. 1988) is a self-taught photographer and filmmaker born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from Illinois State University with a degree in English Education, he worked as a substitute teacher on the South Side of Chicago until he moved to South Korea to satiate his bug for travel. He lived in South Korea for 2 years, teaching students, exploring with his camera and working on documentaries. His photographs have been painted as murals in the bustling neighborhoods of South Korea and displayed as billboards in Hong Kong for Vans Skateboarding. His work has also been on the cover of Bling, a Korean indie rock, underground hip-hop, club culture, and fashion magazine. His work focuses on finding the subversive, alternative, and fringe elements of everyday life and bringing them to light through photography.


Polished

Before my solo trip to Poland, I was on a brief shooting hiatus. Similar to writer’s block, I had a difficult time picking my camera up. I’d think about photography religiously but there was this instilled fear of failure. I felt like I was running out of ideas and inspiration. I knew that in order to become a better photographer, I just had to go out and shoot. The constant cycle of juxtaposition put pressure on my willingness. This trip was going to push me outside my comfort zone and that’s exactly what I needed.

I started to think if the way I was feeling had anything to do with my personal life. Was there something missing? Like an artist and a writer, much can be said about a person through their work. It changes as they do. After returning from Poland, I looked at my photos asked myself, “What do these photographs say about me? Why did I shoot the way I did?” Moments later, I found myself dusting off old hard drives and going through my old work. My own photos determined that I was a shy and novice photographer just by the distance that was shared between myself and the subject. Every photo was shot far and wide. In the Poland photos, I was drawn to more intimate details. Exploration of love, friendship, religion, and humor are all evident features.

Now what does this say about me? Why was I drawn to these particular subjects? These questions have helped me look at my photography at a more profound and meaningful level. They are all things I can apply to my own personal life to help me figure things out. This realization has helped bring me closer to my camera.

To view more of Tom’s work please visit his website.

Emily Earl

Emily Earl is a photographer based in her hometown of Savannah, GA, where she has spent the last seventeen years documenting the faces that make up this quirky, sultry town. She uses moments of darting eye contact and unabashed body language to tell stories on film. She received a BFA in Photography in 2007 from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Photographs from her on-going series “Late Night Polaroids” have been acquired for several private collections, as well as the Permanent Collection at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA. Emily is a founding member, and also serves as Director of Public Relations & Special Events at Sulfur Studios, a community art space in Savannah. Founded in 2014 and located in the Starland District, Sulfur Studios provides artists with affordable studio, gallery and performance space. Emily is also the owner and operator of Prismatic Prints, a fine art print shop that offers image scanning, retouching, printing and mounting services. Emily works with a variety of clients and other artists to execute high-end print work, in addition to logo, flyer, album and book cover design.

Late Night Polaroids

Influenced by Weegee’s gritty street photography, Brassai’s Paris images and the work of Walker Evans, these black and white portraits are a collection of late night flashes that capture the energy of downtown Savannah, GA after dark. For the past five years I have been using a 1970’s polaroid camera to document the people that frequent the single strip of bars in this swampy city, where it’s legal to leave with your drink and go out into the streets. Though the bars and clubs are where people go at night, the streets and sidewalks are where people really meet. These images are a glimpse of the characters and the drama that ensues, a show of fashion, lust and loneliness that comes to a close each night only when the lights come on.

To view more of Emily’s work please visit her website.

Danielle Ellen Owensby

Danielle Ellen Owensby, also known by the acronym of her full name, “deo”, is an artist and writer who graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a MFA in Photography in 2017. Her visual work focuses on trauma and the fragility of memory, namely confronting difficult memories and finding ways to portray events that are seemingly unrepresentable. When she isn’t making heavy work, she likes to travel and make fun narratives with her lens. Owensby’s work has been exhibited coast to coast in venues such as the Grand Rapids Art Museum (Grand Rapids, MI); The Knockdown Center (New York, NY); and 1650 Gallery (Los Angeles, CA). She currently lives and works in Chicago, as an Instructor of Photography at the Lillstreet Art Center.

Trauma Tableaux

My work explores the complexities of childhood trauma, identity, and memory through constructed photographs and metaphor. Trauma is very difficult to talk about, let alone represent. With my disarming use of color, juxtapositions that reference play, and the transference of factual representation onto innocent objects, I play to the strengths of the constructed image to create a means of thinking about this difficult topic.

The act of constructing the scenes for the camera and creating installation spaces harkens pack to playtime as a child, where we created our own worlds. I am now creating metaphoric plays for the camera, drawing from my own experience as a survivor of childhood trauma, to create a visual language that can be universally understood. There is a delicate balance I work from, teetering on the fine line between chaos and order, awful and sweet, and presence and absence. Materiality assists me in exploring this binaries, as I use childlike iconography such as teddy bears and bright colors, as well as bed sheets and obsessive collections. The anxiety found in this meticulous organization reflects the anxieties of not only my own experiences but of others who have suffered and survived.

To view more of Danielle Owensby’s work please visit her website.