Throughout my artistic career, I have frequently fallen victim to the idea that artmaking must wait for the “perfect moment” when I am free of all other obligations in order to attain the mental capacity to create. I spend large amounts of my life feeling out of balance due to a lack of steady production, and yet I continually believe the invented narrative that I “do not have time” due to other career obligations. I intellectually know that I must find the time wherever possible, I must choose to prioritize art-making and experimentation rather than waiting on grand inspirations, lofty ideas, and vast rolling meadows of free time — still I find myself frequently paralyzed in this fog of inaction for months on end.

Coddiwomple is an informal verb that means “to travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination”. This site-specific photographic work embodies this term as I explore my everyday surroundings, requiring myself to make art on a consistent basis. Using experimental photographic processes, I aim to be playful, to not overthink or pre-plan. I choose to respond to my immediate environment and emotions at the time, to put unpolished whims on display, and work at regular intervals to break past habits of artistic stagnation. The term also touches on my current circumstances of potential life change, with the comfort that I can have confidence in my daily intentions despite not being yet able to fully envision an end goal. This work is the embodiment of a journey and a practice, with a future unwritten.

This project will be on display at the Institute of Photographic Studies of Catalonia as part of the Experimental Photo Festival this summer. The reception takes place Wednesday July 19, 7:30-9pm. I am grateful for my upcoming residency at Vermont Studio Center where I will plan the installation and construct the work, which will be installed from the ceiling of the second floor down to the ground floor. Even with this dedicated time to plan and create more components, I feel that the most poignant part of this work has been my ability to create it on a weekly basis — a feat I would have believed to be impossible to accomplish during the school year only just a few months ago. I have experienced so many breakthroughs in terms of ideas and techniques, accomplishments that I previously thought had to be relegated to breaks in my academic school year. While I also obviously hope it will be successful visually, given my experience, it is already a success in terms of proving to myself that I can overcome mental obstacles that keep me from artmaking.




I learned of the Experimental Photo Festival in early 2020, and sadly, Covid kept me from traveling to participate in the second iteration of this gathering. Fortunately, Pablo and Laura set up multiple online events throughout that year, that I will forever be grateful for. The fall of 2020 was a particularly difficult time to be an educator in my part of the country, and the Festival’s online panel discussion I participated in was a really bright moment in those dark months. Being unable to safely teach analog photo processes to my students during that time, or even teach them anything in person, my day-to-day life felt like I was living in someone else’s skin. Despite the pandemic abruptly having upended my identity as an educator, the Festival’s online gatherings helped ground me to a community, introducing me not only to new artists, but to students who were looking for guidance. 

So it is with great anticipation that I will finally be traveling to Spain this summer, as an invited instructor and lecturer at the third Experimental Photo Festival, July 20-24th. At this point, I have seen a preliminary program, and I am happily not too sure where I am going to fit in sleep. My beginner workshop “Chemigrams: Light, Chemistry, and the Hand” will cover various methods of applying resists to paper, including drawing, painting, and printmaking techniques. The advanced full-day workshop “Chemigrams: Materiality and Meaning” will present challenges such as working with concept-driven resists, creating three-dimensional works, and collaborative conceptual prompts. I will also be updating my lecture “Painting is Dead, They Said: Analog Photography in Context” to consider all the progress made in the experimental photo world in the last few years. Finally, I will also be offering portfolio reviews to attendees, and looking forward to being a student in a workshop myself. 

The Experimental Photo Festival’s staff consists of many hardworking individuals who are dedicated to equality and transparency. They do not pay for advertising, nor do they receive public/private funding for the festival — it is all generated by conference fees from the attendees. With so many similarities to my years as Director of The Asheville Darkroom, I am honored to participate in this labor of love, and meet artists and educators from across the globe. Registration is open if you happen to find yourself in Spain this summer, or want to make that happen. 



One of the most positive things that has come out of the pandemic are the ways in which we can reach audiences that wouldn’t have been accessible to us in the past. Thanks to the Experimental Photo Festival in Barcelona Spain and their online programming throughout 2020, I was put into contact with Heather Palecek. An incredible practitioner of pinhole photography, I feel fortunate that she asked me to give an online artist talk through JKC Gallery in Trenton, NJ. Not being able to see my own photo community through Sulfur Studios’ photo critique group for over a year, I felt warmly welcomed as we all stayed online way past the talk chatting about our practices. Big thanks to Heather and the crew at JKC Gallery, as well as my co-presenter Rich Hundley. The full talk can be viewed here.