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Cityscapes story starts with a neighborhood. As an inner-city lifeguard in Washington Park, I quickly fell in love with the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood—its history, people and architecture opened up a new world for me— it felt like the heart of our city. At the end of my lifeguard shifts, I traded in my lifeguard whistle for my grandfather’s Canon AE-1 camera, and started to document Over-the-Rhine.
I returned to live in the neighborhood over 10 years later, and the vibrant people and aesthetics inspired me daily. After stumbling across a dumpster of tiles on Race Street, the unassuming size and space of the squares, coupled with an urge to artistically share the unique spirit of my neighborhood, sparked something in me. My twenties taught me the importance of portable art, and the the advent of digital technology changed the expectations of “the frame.” Holding the tossed-out ceramic in my hand, I saw the potential of tile-as-canvas.
For over 15 years, I’ve aimed to help preserve history, document change, and celebrate the idea of the place I work and live in-- Over-the-Rhine and greater Cincinnati. I lovingly craft my tiles and photos at the Pendleton Art Center— and I’ve begun to adapt my design for other exciting locales— including Paris, Chicago, Indianapolis and more. I’ve found that thinking “local,” like my tiles, both honors and transcends the places we call “home.”