Emerging Southern Photographer
Rylan Steele—Columbus, Georgia
In Rylan Steele’s work Ave Maria we are taken to a planned town of the same name, located outside of Naples, Florida. Ave Maria is a community that, because of the economic downturn, has had to change its plan. In Steel’s photographs Ave Maria is curiously devoid of what many would say forms the backbone of a community: the community members. There is a grand total of one person in Steele’s photographs, and upon closer inspection it is a photograph of a person watching a football game on a small television in a very large room.
Since 2008 the unfinished community has become a common sight throughout the United States. Unfinished landscapes like the one that includes a stop sign and one-way sign in the middle of an empty field, have become commonplace.
Rylan Steele teaches photography at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. Currently, Rylan is working on a new group of photographs that explore Ave Maria, a Catholic inspired community in a remote area of southern Florida. These photographs are an investigation of the infrastructure that supports the utopian vision. See more of his work on his website.