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  Recontextualized Vistas
Bumbershoot 2005

It is a human condition to identify groups of people with their locations. This identification by location tends to create geographical stereotypes. There are big cities and cow towns, New Yorkers and Texans, red states and blue states, and there are stereotypical assumptions attached to groups of people from these locations. Projected group identities often create an “us vs. them” mentality. We create the “other” to measure ourselves against, often encouraging over-generalizations about particular geographically located groups of people. Small-town life in particular is often both overly idealized and overly criticized.

In this body of work I am looking at conflicting stereotypes of small town eastern Washington, where I currently reside, and small town USA in general. My goal is to incorporate perceived truths, or evidence of actions believed to be common small town activities, with the contrasting culturally-ingrained notion of the idyllic small American town as a safe place to raise children.
Howard Barlow