Tanja Hollander was Awarded: 2nd place in Fine Art - Portrait category for the winning entry ""Are you really my friend? the Facebook portrait project”"
I am a fine art photographer based outside of Portland, Maine. I have just embarked on a project to photograph all 626 of my facebook friends in their homes all over the world. About IPA:
The International Photography Awards is a sister-effort of the Lucie Foundation, where the top three winners are announced at the annual Lucie Awards ceremony. The awards event will be held at the Lincoln Center in New York on October 24, 2011, before returning to Los Angeles in 2012 in celebration of the 10-year anniversary. Over 8,000 submissions from 90 countries were received for the 2011 International Photography Awards with over 70 jurors, the largest to date. The Foundation's mission is to honor master photographers, discover new and emerging talent, and promote the appreciation of photography. IPA is dedicated to recognizing contemporary photographers' accomplishments in this specialized and highly visible competition. Visit www.photoawards.com for more details.
Jon and Jones invited me over for brunch (delicious french toast and
banana nut compote) and a shoot with their daughter Nora. Jon is the
film programmer at Space, timber framer and carpenter and Jones works with youth radio at the Youth Center and with Public Radio.
Although we've know each other for quite awhile and I knew a lot about
their house because we were both renovating at the same time (and
fighting for the bargains at Habitat's Re-Store) this was my first visit
to their very beautiful and super cozy home, made even cozier by the pouring down rain. Their neighbor, Michael also stopped
over and he told me about his book on people who learn languages and we
chatted about his idea for a facebook project and we all chatted about
all sorts of cool things that are happening in the world.
Then we braved the rain for a tour of the gardens, bees and chickens (the coop is more structurally sound than my house, I think). This is my first garden tour of bees, but I am struck by the amount of people who have chickens. Jones gave me a tour of the little cottage they lived in while renovating the house and proudly told me that it was furnished (including the books) from the Cape Elizabeth dump.
Nora feeds the chickens Kale and possibly drugs them with Poppy:
The day started off with morning coffee and shoot with Jay and Allison and their two kids, Jackson and Bobby Sue. Allison is an artist and teaches art (she was actually my little sisters art teacher at Portland High). Jay owns Local 188 and Sonny's, both restaurants are Portland favorites. I met them in the late 90's when they ran the Pleasant Street art collective across the street from me.
Then off to Mark and Aimée's and their two girls, Blakey and Clay. Mark is the director of the Portland Museum of Art, and Aimée teaches art history, African art, and contemporary art at Bates College. They also helped to build an amazing school in Tanzania, the Africa Schoolhouse. I was greeted with ice coffee and delicious baked goods from Standard, perfect for a day of shooting. They gave me a tour of the beautiful house they are slowly renovating (and were kind enough to take a break from scraping and painting to sit for a portrait and catch up). Aimée proudly showed me her dream bathroom and tub and Blakey also very proudly showed me her lego version of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater. It took her also summer to put together and was amazing. I also met Aimée's mom, but she somehow disappeared for portrait time.
Then around the corner to Sonya and Jay's. I met Sonya when she was 15 and she came to visit her sister and my friend, Jessica when were students at Hampshire College. She is an incredible hip hop artist and poet and performs as Sontiago. She also is a girl friday and currently works for the Maine Women's Fund as well as teaches workshops all over the State to teenagers. This is one of my favorite videos with the kids at the Telling Room. She is also responsible for building the strong hip hop community in Portland and brings musicians from all over the country. When I arrived, Jacques aka bleubird was there in his tripped out van project freeebird. He was kind enough to let me do his portrait in the van and we swapped stories of being on the road and our favorite cities and events that we had been to. He told me about Best Friends Day in Richmond, VA which sounds amazing. Needless to say, it has been really awesome watching Sonya grow up and turn into not only a spectacular artist but also community organizer.
It also got me thinking about finding more artists that are traveling and collaborating on different parts of the country together. I am already talking and jumping in the letterpress truck with my friend Kyle who was an inspiration for this project.