On Feb 19, 1943, President Roosevelt’s signed executive order 9066 in a misguided attempt to keep our country safe. As a result, approximately 120,000 men, women, and children of Japanese ancestry were deported and incarcerated into camps spread throughout the West Coast; California, Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah. Seventy-five years later we are facing another executive order signed by President Trump in an attempt to keep our country safe.
Ten Japanese Concentration Camps is a photography project that examines executive order 9066 and its impact on society and the environment, today.
This project is timely and suitable for our current political climate. This installation will be exhibited in a variety of locations including; museums and galleries sponsored by Universities and Colleges in order to reach a range of viewers.
I have currently visited eight of the camps and will continue to travel to other two sites once I have permission by enter the land in Arizona.
Jeffersons House: The Family of Monticello
I visited Monticello after reading Annette Gordon-Reed’s The Hemingses of Monticello. Just after getting out of my car, before I could see the iconic classical building we associate with Thomas Jefferson, I noticed a small protected section of woods-- the recently identified cemetery of the enslaved people who lived and died at Monticello. A large, plain rock caught my attention. I realized it was placed by one of the enslaved people there to mark a grave. The story of the Hemings’ lives, long obscured, that Ms. Gordon-Reed’s research revealed became visually and palpably real, and a new artistic path opened for me.
I took the photographs of Monticello in the fall 2016. I added historical photographs with hand-stitching to bring a richer context and understanding of Monticello and the full family and community of people who lived, worked and died there.
Jefferson's Seven Seeds, 2017
Jefferson’s vegetable garden as seen from Mulberry Row.
According to Historian Annette Reed-Gordon, Sally Hemings gave birth to seven children, fathered by Thomas Jefferson. No information on the seventh child has been located.
Detail of Jefferson's Seven Seeds, 2017
Insert: seven sprouted bean seed.
Jefferson’s House, 2017
Insert: Sally Heming’s and Thomas Jefferson’s great-great-granddaughter Emma Jane Bird-Young (center), her husband and seven of their ten children.
Detail of Jefferson House, 2017
Slave Cemetery at Monticello, 2017
Insert: historical photographs of enslaved people
Detail of Monticello Slave Cemetery, 2017
Remnants of Monticello’s Nail Factory, 2017
Insert: Isaac Jefferson
Detail of Remnants of Monticello’s Nail Factory
Insert: Isaac Jefferson who was the head nail maker for Thomas Jefferson.
Under the Big Tree, 2017
Insert: historical photograph of enslaved people.
Detail of Under the Big Tree, 2017
The Fabric of Race: Racial Violence and Lynching Installation
Between 1882 and 1968 over four thousand six hundred people were lynched. The victims were of all ages, race, and genders. The majority of the people lynched were African American men, many under the age of eighteen, and many accused of assaulting white women. Large mobs of white men broke into jails and literally dragged victims to their death before justice could be served.
While researching lynching in America it became clear that this part of American history is not discussed. Lynching was used to perpetuate racial superiority and gender heirachy amongst whites. White children were excused from school to view town lynchings with their parents. Young white girls and women attend for support, often collecting relics such as pieces of coal, nails and bits of clothing, after the event. Teenage boys took an active role in the violence and following close behind int the footsteps of their fathers, as a violent rites of passage into manhood. Older white men intentionally taught young white boys how to use fear to control the black race and supposedly preserves the dignity of white women.
Many victims were stripped naked and dismembered, literally burned alive. Body parts such as fingers, toes, teeth ears and genitals were collected as souvenirs. After bodies of victims were charred, sites were cleared because it was believed that souls could be kept from rising on judgement ay if their remains were burned and removed. Many victims today are still unidentified; it is said for every name known, four names are unknown.
The Fabric of Race: Racial Violence and lynching
Entry of Installation
Each shirt represents and honors a person lynched. The majority of the these individuals were African- American men, but also included women, children, Jewish and other minorities.
Detail of Identity Tag
Each shirt carries an identification tag, viewers are encouraged to touch and read tags. Offering away to connect with history, each tag carries the name and description of a lynched victim.
View of Lynching Quilt
Detail of Lynching Quilt
Overview of Installation
Hats are seen to left, and ties to the right.
Lynching Ties made with Vandyke photographic process or cotton fabric using imagery from lynching postcards.
Lynching hats made from paper and hat molds.
Detail of Lynching Hat
Text on Hat reads: I saw him pray.
Overview of Installation
To the left, Lynching hats, to the right Lynching relics.
Kiribati, Central Pacific
Between the years 1990-1992, I served as a Peace Corp volunteer for two years in the country of Kiribati. At the time, we did not know that the atolls would slowly be swallowed by the swelling seas. I hope to return one day soon to capture more stories of Kiribati culture and customs
Individual Mixed Media Pieces
While closing up the home of our beloved Great Uncle Herod Carpenter after his passing at the age of 97, it was clear that many of his belongings would become materials to tell his life story. His story of While closing up the home of our beloved Great Uncle Herod Carpenter, after his passing at the age of 97, it was clear that many of his belongings would become an African American man who migrated west in search of a safer life and community. Objects such as his Sunday best shirts reconfigured and are hand-sewn into a piecethat speaks to his devotion a spiritual life. And a pair of his very worn shoes combined with a set dictionaries fuse together to create a piece that addresses his commitment to education.
Materials include worn shoes, webster dictionary set, thread