What We Hold Dear
What We Hold Dear is series that was born out of a desire to comprehend my student’s lives outside of the art institution in which I taught and understood them. The majority of the portraits were taken inside or in front of their home. Some of the student’s lived in-group homes with twenty-four hour care providers, others lived with family and many shared a small apartment with a roommate and rotating staff. The photographs were taken with a large format camera in a space chosen by the individual. The place, possessions and objects in the images are in all in some way meaningful to that person. Though I had no experience working with people with disabilities, I was hired to teach them art and photography. I worked with many students with a wide range of developmental disabilities; from mild Autism Spectrum Disorder to severe Cerebral Palsy.