Bmore Doc (2015 - )
After photographing in the aftermath of the 2015 Baltimore Uprising, I became concerned about contributing to an oversimplified representation of a singular moment of crisis. To illuminate the richness and complexities of life in Baltimore, I am committed to building long-term relationships with community groups and continuing to document my city.
In West Baltimore, I have worked extensively with non-profit Jubilee Arts and their parent organization Intersection of Change, which provides arts classes and social services to the residents of the Sandtown-Winchester, Upton, and surrounding neighborhoods. Over the course of almost seven years, in careful dialogue with participants, I photographically documented many of their youth and adult programs, political and social advocacy, and off-site mural programs in the city. I am grateful to Nora Howell and team for facilitating this engagement.
In East Baltimore, I have worked closely with 8th grade youth enrolled at the public Commodore John Rogers School. Loaner cameras were made available to participants, along with discussion of basic technique and artist influences. We made photographs of the school community both separately and together, and came together weekly to discuss the nature of photographs, composition and technique, as well as the deeper meaning in making a portrait of a community. The photographs are collected in two artist books, blending my photographs with participant photographs. We are grateful to Michael Rennard, the CJR Gifted & Advanced Learning Coordinator, for facilitating our collaboration.
If you wish to start a conversation about a possible collaboration with a community group, please don't hesitate to get in touch and I'll look forward to discussing possibilities.
On the East Baltimore Documentary Project (1976 - 1980)
In 1976, MICA professor Linda Rich joined with Joan Clark Netherwood and Elinor B. Cahn to form the East Baltimore Documentary Project. Over a four-year period, the team created over 10,000 photographs in the 15 neighborhoods that comprise the eastern portion of the city. Read more about the history of the East Baltimore Documentary Project on the Maryland Historical Society blog. Their work is collected in the book "Neighborhood: A State of Mind".
In 2015, I adapted their name as an umbrella for my own project, honoring their legacy of documentary photography work in the community, while also mindful of who is and is not represented in their project. I carry their work forward, as a MICA professor myself, building long-term relationships with the communities that create Baltimore's rich identity today.