The PlainSky, Nebraskans Show: The Complete Works No. 21

Jay Em No. 1: PlainSky Nebraskans No. 21, 18" x 12" on Canson Infinity Velin Rag

Jay Em No. 1: PlainSky Nebraskans No. 21, 18″ x 12″ on Canson Infinity Velin Rag

No, despite being in a show called “PlainSky, Nebraskans,” this photograph was not made in the state. It’s a sister shot to “Ardmore,” an image that illustrates the alarming rate of depopulation that persists in much of the Great Plains, and while “Ardmore” is from South Dakota and just north of the Nebraska border, “Jay Em No. 1” is from just west of the state line into Wyoming, but suffered the same plight as Ardmore. It is now a ghost town, and while wandering the silent streets I found this image to alluring to resist with the bones of the trees in their withered organic forms against their ancestors wrought into an industrialized form, then utilized as the walls of a building that no longer hosts any life. The trees grasp skyward, the formal elements in the background of the photo in stark contrast, and reflected in the windows to the left are leaves that seem to taunt the barren branches below with false promises of bounty.

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