The Art of the Personal Project: Angie Smith

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:  Angie Smith

Stronger Shines the Light Inside is an ongoing photography project that tells the personal stories of refugees in the United States. In 2015, Los Angeles-based photographer Angie Smith began documenting refugees rebuilding their lives in Boise, Idaho. She’s since photographed communities in Salt Lake City, Albany, New York, and Los Angeles. Stronger Shines the Light Inside helps Americans understand the complexities, struggles, and personal triumphs that refugees experience in their everyday lives.

Of the 65 million displaced people worldwide, only 1% will eventually be resettled in a host country. And of that 1%, each has endured a long and grueling screening process, often spanning years. This project presents refugees as individuals, each with a unique story, grappling with questions of self-identity, reconciliation with the past, and sifting through the emotions of adjusting to an entirely new culture.

Every story is different, but each one speaks of hope, of refusal to give up. Many point to a serendipitous moment, a right person at the right time—someone who saved their life while fleeing, who offered a ride to a supermarket on their first day in America, maybe a friendly face who helped them read a bus schedule, or someone who simply smiled and said hello. All speak of their desire to integrate and contribute to the community, and many express gratitude for those who have helped them to do so.

In May 2018, Smith began an artist residency with Wieden+Kennedy where she spent three weeks photographing refugees and immigrants in the Portland area and the organizations that support them. Through these photographs, films, and interview excerpts, this exhibition aims to amplify the marginalized voices of immigrants, migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers and highlight the many contributions they make to our communities.

To see more of this project, click here.

Some film stories for the project:

It is important to talk about this terrible incident that happened in Boise last week… Since this is the city where everything started…
and the print sale I am doing in response to it- all of the proceeds will go to support the IRC fund for the families.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s.  After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  Instagram:

Suzanne Sease

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