I have been fortunate to be named an Artist in Residence for 2010 at the Homestead National Monument in Nebraska. This is a great opportunity for a photographer to immerse in a place and get to know the details of it, then translate what you learn into a visual record and story for others. What excites me about being at this particular part of the National Park Service is the challenge to look beyond the “park” aspect.
Whereas many national parks preserve scenic beauty enjoyed by simply going and looking, Homestead celebrates a significant part of American history that connects us to the land in a unique way. It is the proxy location for all those acres that were given to settlers seeking a new life, a different existence, or prosperity resulting from their own labors. The location in southeastern Nebraska is one of the first homesteads carved out of the prairie; however, it represents the challenge of the land accepted by people in many states over decades. As a photographer, this is a great opportunity to develop a visual story that is relevant to visitors regardless of their home, to connect what they see in Nebraska with all the benefits we have all realized as a result of the Homestead Act.
I’ll be at the Monument for two weeks in May and a week in September. Look for my blogs around that time.