Emily Fitzgerald is an artist, photographer and educator. Her work exists at the intersection of social engagement, video and photography, and continually considers the struggle inevitably present in visual representation, and through this investigation seeks to find a place of catharsis. Her practice explores collaboration, co-authorship, ethical representation and storytelling processes. Her recent collaborations include the Portland Art Museum, the City of Portland, Zenger Farm, Mid County County Health Clinic, King Public School and the Hollywood Senior Center.
Follow her work here.
King School Portrait Project
A collaboration with Alan Cerriteno-Apolonio, Ashmeena Kipp, Chanel Wilson, Dashielle Swain, Pesalili Laulea Jr. , Quebriance Waters, and Semaj Baldwin-Fontenot.
Made with Gemma-Rose Turnbull2014
In April 2014 Emily Fitzgerald and Gemma-Rose Turnbull started work on the King School Portrait Project with a group of students that ranged from six to fourteen-years-old. The book and in-school installation were the result of their two-month long investigations into identity, representation and photography.
I originally conceptualized this project because I had an assumption that older adults, like younger adults often feel isolated and lack meaningful connection in their day to day lives. I really didn’t know what to expect or what would emerge from my work with this group of ten older folks. I was hoping to create a space where younger and older people could connect and share life experiences. I wanted to learn from this group of older people. In a short time, the group meetings took on a life of their own and a collective identity began to emerge in an organic way. I must credit the courageous participation, introspection, and dialogue of everyone involved. I have never been in a group that was so willing to share in an authentic way so quickly.
Through reflecting on individual identity by generating material and using archival images from the past, everyone began to reveal a great deal about their history and the ways they experience the world now. The act of learning photography, generating questions and engaging in reflective writing proved to be empowering and created an incredibly cohesive and dynamic group identity. Participants were inspired to connect with one another and engage in meaningful ways.
You can read more about the project on Photography as a Social Practice.
Food Rites: Zenger Farm and Mid County Health Clinic
In the spring of 2015 Zenger Farm launched an initiative that partnered local farms with local businesses, health clinics, gyms and places of worship. Through this partnership, each site served as a location for the farm to deliver and distribute their CSA to the community. Zenger Farm was paired with Mid County Health clinic, a Multnomah county health clinic, two miles from the farm that sees an average of 300 people per day.
This first iteration of the CSA program at Mid County was open to English and Spanish speakers. I spent time at Mid County Health Clinic, CSA members homes and the farm in an effort to represent the stories and experiences of the people involved and expand the dialogue around the intersection of community, health and food. This project is an outcome of the experience that took place between an artist, a community of health patients, farmers, healthcare workers and a whole lot of fresh food.