A Southern Journey from the Summer 2019 issue. In the Tampa exurbs, splashed across the side of a half-occupied strip mall, is a vast mural depicting the Victorian art critic-cum-philosopher-cum-political economist-cum-painter-cum-social reformer John Ruskin. He gazes out at an expanse of… | Jun, 2019
Jeff Rich is a photographer based in Iowa City. His work focuses on water issues ranging from recreation and sustainability to exploitation and abuse. Jeff currently teaches photography at the University of Iowa. He curates the OA’s weekly photo series, Eyes on the South.
Maude Schuyler Clay is known for her work depicting the Mississippi Delta, but she is also a talented portrait photographer. Inspired by Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand, and Diane Arbus, Clay seeks to make photographs that emulate, in color, the craft and subtlety these artists cultivated in black and white.
The tintypes in Frank Hamrick’s series Sometimes Rivers Flow Backwards are inspired by the photographer’s home life. Using a nineteenth-century process, Hamrick is interested in the deliberate methods of antique technology, as compared with the split-second nature of digital photography.
Malcolm Lightner’s series Mile O’ Mud documents swamp buggy racing in Naples, Florida, a tradition for which custom-built swamp buggies race through the mud and muck of Florida swampland. A fourth-generation Floridian, Lightner has deep ties to Naples and to this style of racing; his great-uncle R.L. formalized the tradition into a legitimate sport in 1949.
In Steady Is the Tide, John Lusk Hathaway documents scenes that reflect humankind’s relationship to nature and water. The series is inspired by a line in Ron Rash’s book Nothing Gold Can Stay: “Water has its own archaeology, not a layering but a leveling, and thus is truer to our sense of the past, because what is memory but near and far events spread and smoothed beneath the present’s surface.”
In The Florida Heartland, Brian McSwain captures the backroads of a six-county region in south-central Florida, focusing on scenes and objects that are broken or abandoned: a deserted juice stand; a fractured statue; a tilted, net-less basketball goal.