Encounters, 2012 - 2016


Relocating from Oklahoma to Florida was an exciting and foreign frontier. Tampa and its surrounding landscape have a vitality that contrasts from where I spent most of my life back west. The atmosphere created in South Florida is unique and full of spirit. Its social communities and geography intertwine to form a diverse culture. Though this is true of many places, people here organize to share common interests, creating their own cultural identity. In this place, one can feel free to escape from reality by visiting any one of the major theme parks. You can fly with Harry Potter, stare in amazement at the mermaids, see the world's largest alligator, celebrate the wonders of distinct countries, go to outer space, relax at some of the world's finest beaches, and more. Interestingly enough, it is where many people come to retire.

As much as I found many aspects of Florida engaging, I was not responding to making images revealing its lively and quirky qualities. After living here for several years, I began composing scenes that speak about the places that I have lived in as well as other quotidian sights I visit. I focus on quiet spaces, creating order out of the chaos that I feel exposed to. The scenes grew harmonious in tone by honing in on marginal environments. Essentially, these images are not about the ideal Florida so much as they are about my inner experience of living here. Looking at personal and public spaces, the images question what it means to belong to a place. In this ongoing project, I believe that the images could be many places. They are a closer look at the curious nature of the mundane.

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