The body of work on exhibit is a visual narrative of a historic neighborhood in northwest Atlanta currently under construction for redevelopment purposes. The photographs date back to 2015 when the artist began the series, and much of the culture and livelihood of Vine City has been erased.
R. Smith is a conceptual photographic artist currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Smith began her artistic practice at the age of 10 after discovering an interest in the medium of photography while watching her father create VHS tapes and make photographic documentary stills with Polaroids.
Throughout high school, she composed both photojournalistic narratives and lifestyle photo shoots. This lead her into pursuing photography on a collegiate level, and she earned a Bachelor of Fine Art degree at Savannah College of Art and Design. After trial and error experiences within fashion, sports, and lifestyle photography, she became intrigued by several minority documentary photographers after taking a history of photography course during her second year of college.
Similar to the works of her predecessors (Gordon Parks, Roy DeCarava, Baldwin Lee, Jamel Shabazz, Howard Bingham, Lorna Simpson, and Carrie Mae Weems), she uses the medium of photography for activism to discuss social issues that reflect the present time and tell the story of the Black experience in America. Overall, Rose exhibits her commitment to photography by educating and expounding on topics that are often overlooked.