This project originated from a sense of disappointment about not having enough money to participate in an international photography program in Paris, France. Sooooo..... we were talking about ways to fill our summer with an equally great photography adventure. We were struck by the thought that we can go to Paris without ever leaving the state of Ohio. We discovered that there are nearly fifty small towns in Ohio that are named after major cities around the world.
Kesley lives just a few miles from Geneva, Ohio which is also the name of the second largest city in Switzerland. Just in the northeast corner of the state you can also find Rome, Vienna, Lisbon and Paris.
With only a few exceptions these towns are very small. Many are crossroads communities that one can drive through in only a few seconds. Being small and off the beaten track, most of these towns have the look of being stuck in time. There are many remnants of times past still visible in their public buildings, commercial buildings and homes. Walking through them is a little like traveling back in time to the 1950's.
And while each town still reveals a strong link to its past, they have each adapted to life in the 21st Century in their own way. It's clear that life still works in the small towns of Ohio. It is this contrast between the links to the past and the life of the present that we hope to document through our photography.
We have already begun to photograph nearby towns like Rome and Geneva. We hope, with your help, that we will be able to travel to some of the towns farther south, like Athens, Moscow, Berlin and, of course, Paris.
The photographs we make for this project will be published in a variety of ways. We will self-publish a book in both traditional printed format and as an e-book that can be viewed on any computer and many tablet devices. The book will contain black & white as well as color photographs. Some photographs will be panoramic images. There will also be portraits of the people we interview.
Text included in the book will be derived from interviews and conversations with people we meet in the towns we visit. We hope to include a historical perspective and insight into the culture of these places through the comments of local residents as well as through the visual statement of the photographs.
We also hope to schedule an exhibition of the photographs at one of the art galleries at Lakeland Community College. And we will print a collection of postcards, one of which you will receive in the mail, along with our heart-felt thanks, as a reward for backing our project.
- (30 days)