Historical preservation, though an admirable pursuit, often ultimately proves futile. Despite any amount of effort, one cannot wholly preserve an area that passed and refuses to return. When I photograph rural Iowa, I visit small towns seeking elements that provide me a sense of sentimentality for my own waning hometown
In Once Familiar, I explore spaces that hearken to a forgotten era that belonged to a generation who then appreciated their rural lifestyle and whose problems, at that time, still felt manageable without drastic political intervention. During each of my visits, I question at what point these greying spaces fade past the point of nostalgia and into outright decay
Much of my work explores its architectural remains built to feed, entertain, shelter, and serve locals who no longer remain due to aging populations and the continued export of youth. Meanwhile, the portraits serve as evidence of life despite the state’s continued export of youth to more prosperous areas across the United States.