Day 1 of the Hwy 80 project

Atlantic to Pacific on US Highway 80

Hello world, I just returned home from 26 days on the road.

I met amazing souls, saw amazing sights, smelled amazing smells (not including the piece of cheese that fell between the seats), taught and learned from amazing students at our workshop, and most of all filled my soul with experience. Lots of it.

Experience is everything to me. It’s what I get to walk away with in the end. It is my reward. My gift.Curiosity fuels this experience. The curiosity of taking rural route 80 across America instead of the fast interstates would set forth a chain of images I could have never imagined. It’s not that the images themselves are earth shattering, and the concept is nothing new. Avedon did it a long time ago and many before him. It’s the fact that all of the 61 portraits I made are connected.

The portraits below are the first and last portrait of the trip. How could a man in Georgia, who was picking up trash out of the ditch, and a young man in New Mexico peddling peppers have a connection? That first man, Albert, told me where to make my second portrait. Then the second man told me where to go for the third, and so on, until we meet Adrian in New Mexico.

It took me getting out of the van to ask Albert for that first image. I didn’t even know why I was doing it with no real idea of what kind of project I was even starting. I doubted myself many times throughout the project unfolding right in front of me. So much that I ended it in New Mexico with Adrian. But I knew I was great at meeting people. I had done it for years with my passer by projects.

The group of 61 souls I collected along Highway 80 represent the working people of the US. Those that are out there doing it and supporting country, self and family. To know we are all connected in some way lets me breath easier for some reason.
I will be revisiting Highway 80 in the spring on my way to my Austin Texas workshop. See you there?