My photographs are evidence of my constant engagement with life and all of its experiences, both good and bad. As an artist I have found that I must find some kind of intuitive tie or inherent connection to my subject matter before taking photographs. Some topics of my focus involved long time frames of immersion and education in a cultural realm, where other subject matter involved less time but a more direct immersion in a landscape or setting prior to taking a photo for the first time.
This gallery showing displays my experiences participating in Native American Pow Wows in the Three Fires Confederacy areas of Michigan and Ontario. Pow Wowâ€™s are usually defined in the Native American community in this area as social gatherings where spiritual things may sometimes happen. These photos should reflect some of the qualities of light, dance, movement, texture, emotion and energy found at a Pow Wow event.
Although I am not Native American in my personal heritage, I have been actively involved in the Native American community in Michigan, California, South Dakota, North Dakota and Ontario. I am a past Board Member of the American Indian Movement of Michigan, a member of the Press Committee for the Longest Walk 2, a freelance writer for both Indian Country Today and Uncensored News and have been taking Ojibwe Language classes under the teachings of Margaret Noori and Howard Kimewon at the University of Michigan for 2 years. My heritage is Irish, English, and Latvian American and I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. Upon graduating high school I went on to obtain a degree in Architecture from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Architecture & Design from Harvard University where Photo Journalism became a surprise minor and a new hobby. Photography has always been my passport for learning about people and community.