Is the Past Tense of ‘Fetch,’ ‘Fought?,’ Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2011

April 16th, 2011

Trickery at Paradigm Gallery

April 15th, 2011

I am very pleased to be part of this show at Paradigm Gallery + Studio. A new, large format, piece will be hanging in this show (so new I haven’t even posted it on my flickr or anywhere else). I’m very excited to hang work with some previous classmates and other UArts alums. Please join us on April 29th for the opening reception.

n. pl. trick·er·ies
The practice or use of tricks; deception by stratagem.

A photography exhibition.

Steven Alvarez
Patrick Blake
Silvia Baptiste
Casey Catelli
Jason Chen
Joesph Hocker
Krysta Knaster
Dara Slott
Samuel Sargent
Anna Tas

Opening Reception:
Friday, April 29, 2011, 6 – 10 pm
Closing Reception:
Friday, May 20, 2011, 6 – 10 pm

When Do You Say Goodbye?

March 14th, 2011

Gram’s Descent, Orono, Maine, 2009

When I took this image, I asked my Grammie to walk into the woods so I could photograph her. As I fiddled with the camera, I watched as she walked away. I exposed the film and continued to watch her walk deeper into the woods. After a minute, I called her back. I have a feeling if I hadn’t, she may have kept walking forever…

My Grammie, she played a huge part in my life. She essentially raised my siblings and me. When I began pre-school, my mother went to nursing school. She studied hard and worked hard while my dad worked and traveled with the military. Grammie was there in the morning for breakfast, to help pack our lunches and get us out the door to the bus. We would come home and she’d be there to cook us dinner and talk to us about education. She instilled in me at a young age an affinity of the English language. She, a retired teacher, would talk to us about grammar and the rules of proper English. And I still have a love for the language; although I will never be a master of it.

Grammie, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, 2011

A few years ago, we noticed that she was in some kind of decline. It wasn’t Alzheimer’s, but something similar. Either way, most of my family was in denial, she was just too young for any brain issues. As the years passed, she only got worse. Her physical health was fine, but her mental health took a dip. My parents moved from my home in Maine to a new house in New Mexico in 2008. Once the house was finished in 2010, they moved my Gram out to live with them. My mother flew to Maine, packed up my Gram’s belongings and drove across country with her. After day one she realized that this trip was more than she expected. Gram was lost. She was often confused by her surroundings in the mornings, but had some slight ideas of what she was doing and where she was going.

Grammie in “Summertime”, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, 2011

While I was out in New Mexico this past Christmas and New Year, I finally got to see the decline that my Gram was actually in. I was pleased to hear that she was aware of her mind going, but heartbroken by some of her actions. My brother, Anthony, told me one day that he had already said ‘goodbye’ to Gram, a while back. That idea really helped me cope with some of how I was feeling. I knew she wasn’t the same Gram that I had known. But physically, she was still there all the same. Same warm embrace, same silly smile and cutting sense of humor. But there was a blankness at times. She’d be lost within her home. She’d ask things like “When is daddy coming to pick me up?” or “Can you believe all this snow? It’s summertime, isn’t it?” Day-after-day you’d deal with the same questions or comments. She refused to take her medications on account of never being sick or told to by a doctor. But each day was new to her. If she had gone to the doctor one day, there was a good chance that she didn’t remember it upon her return to the house, let alone the next day.

One day she asked me where the stairs were to get downstairs. I assured her that it was a one level house and there was no downstairs. She followed up by asking about the kids upstairs. Again, I repeated it was a one level home. She then asked when I thought the kids downstairs had last had a meal. I didn’t know how to answer, so I made a joke of it. We laughed and moved on. Hours later it dawned on me. The kid downstairs… that was me. Back home in Maine, I had the basement room. The kids upstairs were my siblings… but she forgets we’re all grown. It made me wonder who she thought she was talking to. Sometimes, I know for sure, she knew exactly who I was. But there was always some doubt… Lately, I’ve been taking more and more self portraits, based mostly around my feelings or emotions. I never emote in person, but when I’m alone I can feel and show my vulnerabilities to the camera.

Left: Self Portrait with Grammie (I), Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, 2011
Right: Self Portrait with Grammie (II), Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, 2011
Click Thumbnails for Full Size

I called the house a couple weeks ago, while I was in Seattle, and she answered the phone. She didn’t know where anyone was. She was convinced everyone had left her and they were not coming back. I even doubt she knew who she was talking to. She wouldn’t say “I love you” to me after I said it to her. Broken up, I let her go and tried to remember that it wasn’t personal. This isn’t the Grammie I once knew, and that I had already said goodbye. And most importantly, it isn’t her fault. It’s no one’s fault.

Last Thursday, my parents admitted my Gram to a nursing home. She had become too much of a burden. My mother is clearly having the most difficult time with this progression of life; watching her own mother decline past a place where she can care for her. She visits everyday, at least for now. One day when she visited over lunch, she found Gram walking arm-in-arm with another, probably equally demented, woman. As much as a painful move this was for my family, I think everyone is in a better place, currently. Gram is no longer living in a house where everyone leaves for the day. She finally has the company she longed for.

Grammie Resting, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, 2011

This last photo I took with an image in mind. I guess I misjudged my original intent. It’s quite foreboding, but I like the comfort of it. Rest well, Grammie…

Meet Robert

March 6th, 2011

I first met Robert electronically, back in high school. We were both website operators, webmasters(?) of our own personal blogs and became friends. While I was in Seattle, I invited him to come meet me. He drove down from Vancouver, Canada, picking up Craig along the way. Meeting people for the first time is usually a little strange, but Robert was exactly as I had imagined him to be. Charming, polite, reserved, and tall (but not as tall as I was expecting). He didn’t stay in town long due to family commitments (note: charming), so my time to photograph him was limited. I asked him to come out to this porch I spotted earlier. I love the mystery of his expression, and how the light wraps his face.

Meet Craig

March 2nd, 2011

I met Craig at John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor, Maine. However, we were not friends until after he went to university. We’ve kept in touch and a couple years ago he moved to Bellingham, Washington with AmeriCorps. Recently, I went to Seattle to see a piece of mine in a show and visit with a photographer friend, Rafael Soldi. Knowing we would be in close relation to Craig, I invited him to visit while I was in town. He caught a ride from another friend of mine, Robert, who I invited to come visit as well, from Vancouver. I will introduce him another day, once I’m through editing his photo. While the four of us were relaxing in Rafael’s beautiful apartment, Craig sat up to look at the sun setting over the mountains from the window.

Submit, submit, submit!

February 18th, 2011


The New York Photo Festival, for its third juried photo exhibition, is accepting submissions of photographic work that shatters definitions of the passively accepted, and open the door to social change.

The goal of the Provocation exhibition is to showcase photographic work that deals with social issues and social change (whether political, personal, or inter-personal). 

We are looking for images that capture change in the making, as well as photographs that have the potential to propel a society to experimentation and to embark on new projects that could lead to a renewal and revitalization of social consciousness. 


Provocation is most frequently and mistakenly couched in negative terms applied to persons and behaviors that lack “normalcy.”

In a world pervaded by power imbalances, those who belong to the power elite set the norms for the masses to follow — standards which serve to legitimize and enshrine their advantageous position in the body politic. The photographer-provocateur represents a challenge to such authority, and acts as a social critic, one who by his or her actions calls the legitimacy of convention and “normalcy” into account, and thus becomes a threat to the systems in power. 

Drawn from online submissions, 85 images will be selected and exhibited at The powerHouse Arena in Dumbo, Brooklyn. 
Provocation – presented by the New York Photo Festival – will be on show from March 14 to April 3.

Submission Deadline: February 25, 2011
Click here to enter

Woodstock A-I-R

WOODSTOCK A-I-R is a workspace residency program designed to support artists of color working in the photographic arts who reside in the United States with access to time, facilities, financial, critical, and technical support. This activity is created with an emphasis on supporting artists working in the photographic arts who are at the brink of their careers and promising talent. All of us lead very busy lives – the drive for this program is to free the artist – from the busy routines and demands of everyday – and to provide a sanctuary for creativity.

Submission Deadline: Monday, February 28, 2011 (Note: Materials must be DELIVERED on or before February 28.)
Click here for more info and to apply

En Foco presents: The Changing World
A call for entries for a NYC exhibition this April.

Photographers and photo-based artists are invited to submit work to “The Changing World,” a call for entries for an En Foco exhibition in NYC.

“Whether the simple change of seasons, rites of passage, issues of urban gentrification or technological advancement, we all individually experience change. Sometimes through our own motivation, observation or circumstances that we endure, change is upon us individually, in our community and on the global stage. Whether greeted with acceptance, humor or reluctance, we cannot avoid this inevitable part of out life.”

CURATOR: Michael Foley, Foley Gallery

Friday March 4, 2011, at 12:00am MST

April 4 – April 29, 2011 at John Jay Art Gallery, NYC

Click here for more information.

burn. magazine Emerging Photographer Grant 2011

We are now receiving submissions for a BURN grant of $15,000.

Deadline for entry is May 1, 2011

Funding is designed to support continuation of a photographer’s personal project. This body of work may be of either journalistic mission or purely personal artistic imperatives. The primary intent is to support emerging photographers who will become the icons of tomorrow.

The Emerging Photographer Fund grant was initiated by David Alan Harvey in 2008, and is awarded by the Magnum Foundation, a non-profit created by the member photographers from Magnum Photos, Inc…Funding for the EPF has come from several private donors who have chosen to remain anonymous.

Some of the previous jurors have been: Carol Nagar, Martin Parr, Gilles Peress, Eugene Richards, Maggie Steber, Fred Ritchin, Bruce Gilden, David Griffin, John Gossage , Susan Meiselas, and James Nachtwey…For 2011 an equally astute set of jurors will be selected and announced before the deadline date.

Click here for more information.