Photographs of Wichita, KS
I have lived in Wichita, Kansas for most of my life, and I have seen how the city has changed for better and for worse. Over the past several years I have been documenting these changes both intentionally and unintentionally. Many of these photographs were taken at a time in my life when I was temporarily homeless, sleeping in my car, and for a short time (when I was without a car) sleeping in Naftzger Park (recently redeveloped) in downtown Wichita. The more recent images were taken after this period of my life and done so with the intention of showing the changing landscape of Wichita’s downtown area.
For many people who experience homelessness, downtown Wichita once offered temporary refuge in its public spaces and parks due to their proximity to public transportation, homeless outreach and resource centers, public restrooms, and other publicly and privately volunteer services such as church and mobile showers. From around 2015 and ongoing, downtown Wichita has experienced a new wave of downtown urban development and gentrification of its public spaces into privately owned public use spaces. This work is a telling story of the lives adjacent to new property developments, a reality of the relationship between public and private development, and the affects of gentrification.
I understand reality and risk of being homeless and the stigmas associated with being such. These photographs mean to invoke awareness to the memories of the people and the spaces they occupy in Wichita’s downtown. I want to spread awareness of how our city is rapidly changing and at the expense of taxpayers and individuals which do not always have the means and the privileges to voice their rightful concerns.
THE NEW COOL : EMERGING ARTISTS EXHIBITION – MARK ARTS – WICHITA, KS 2019
SOURCES – STECKLINE GALLERY, NEWMAN UNIVERSITY – WICHITA, KS 2019