The wet plate collodion tintype process was first invented in the 1850s and became a primary photographic practice in the 1860s and 1870s, documenting much of the Civil War. The tintypes of the Black Stories Project embody the history of photography and the history of racial inequity in the United States and more specifically in the state of Utah. They draw a connection between the history of racism and the dialogue about race today. In a state where the black population is less than two percent and a dominant religious culture presents a unique and complicated narrative of the past and present, we can only address the current issues of systemic inequality while acknowledging and grappling with the history behind them. This project is a study about how the weight of our state’s history and the lens through which it is told, affects how black individuals experience life here today. The Black Stories Project is made up of the portraits and voices of members of the black community here in Utah, and stands as an effort towards opening the conversation, understanding the past and changing the future narrative of our history.
The Black Stories Project: Exhibitions
Exploration of Generations & Womanhood
Despite being separated by time and place, we are often more connected to our family members and our ancestors than we might realize.
Modesty & Mormon Culture
Modesty is historically and contemporarily a valued aspect of many religions and cultures, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. As a future art educator and parent, I believe it is important for us, as members of our society and our church, to consider how we talk about modesty with teenagers and children and how their view of it impacts how they view themselves and their bodies. In a society where hundreds of images and influences are placed before us and our youth on a daily basis, the ability to sort through the mass of media and develop personal, real reasons to be modest are a crucial part of healthy development in adolescence. Too often we teach these reasons as being centered around young women’s implied responsibilities to control the male gaze, the resulting guilt and shame when they do not succeed, expectations to fulfill contradicting roles as a woman, issues with comparison, and obsession over drawing the line when it comes to defining modesty. It is my observation that these conversations should be dismantled and rethought in many instances. The images of this project are collages made up of MormonAds, other related imagery, and text pulled from various conversations about modesty; why we do it, how we teach it, and what parts of that discourse can be questioned or grappled with. It is a personal exploration about issues including the Mormon male gaze, how modesty affects body image and identity, adolescent development, and how our bodies and the clothes we do or don’t put on them impact our society within the church and out of it.
Old People, A Series
Other alternative process work