by Carl Weese
In October of 2012 I spent a week in Ruskin, FL, as Artist in Residence with The Firehouse Cultural Center. During the residency I gave several presentations and taught a two-day workshop on digital photography. The core of the invitation from The Firehouse though was to spend the bulk of my stay doing what I do—make photographs—but concentrating on Ruskin and its vicinity. This was a unique opportunity.
There are places I return to again and again to see how increasing familiarity with the subject influences my photography. I also travel on photographic projects and frequently break from the main project to do an hour of “photo walkabout” in unfamiliar places.
I’ve never spent time in Florida before. The architecture, the vegetation, the land use patterns, the river and bay, and most of all the amazing tropical light: everything about Ruskin was unfamiliar to me the evening of October 14. By the time I left the morning of the 22nd, it was very familiar indeed.
Over the next several months I spent many hours editing and then sequencing the Ruskin pictures. In the end I have a group of sixty photographs collected into a web gallery that I think reflects the picture-making aspect of the residency. It was a fascinating experience and I’m happy with the work that resulted. Once again I’d like to thank The Firehouse Cultural Center and the several organizations whose sponsorship made the residence possible.
Carl Weese, Woodbury, CT 2/19/13