architecture

The Next Show: Return to Sender

Return to Sender–Trumbull, Nebr

Return to Sender–Trumbull, Nebr

My next solo exhibition is opening in April 2014, and is titled “Return to Sender: The Endangered Rural Post Office.” It’s more artistic than my previous documentary work, but how is a secret until the show opens. Suffice it to say the 30 images that will compose the show are far deeper than any of the attendees can possibly realize, and each will be an edition of only 4.

The project is about the endangered rural post office, the heart of small town America, and the loss of which often signals the death of a town. But how do these post offices fit in a digital world of mobile e-mail, Facebook, and blanketed cell coverage? They are symbols of a passing world, much like the small towns they inhabit. As much of the Great Plains population wanes, the dying post office emerges as the pivotal icon of the changing century.

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Storefront Detail and Sign, Hastings

Storefront Detail and Sign, Hastings

Storefront Detail and Sign, Hastings

Let’s make one thing clear: I’m not an “urban” photographer. No, I don’t relish the idea of galavanting off to L.A. for a furious bout of making images featuring tall skyscrapers, urban jungles, and angst-y residents all rolled into one. But I am passionate about creating lasting artwork that reflects the assault of depopulation upon the American rural West. This image is more than it seems, as most have come to expect from me; when examining it for meaning, consider the preceding exposition on loss, and one has the first clue to its theme.