The Optimist

Yesterday was a blustery 55° on the Oregon coast. But don’t try telling the locals it’s not beach weather. . .
Kerry Rowand

Leaving Home

Kerry Rowand
Throughout my childhood, my family lived in the same house. Its walls hold memories from my first steps to my college graduation.

As an adult, I have moved several times. I have also watched as spaces once home to friends and family were emptied, and have felt a strangeness walking through familiar spaces whose residents have disappeared.

As a photographer I am frequently drawn to estate sales, sensing a presence that lingers, even after the homeowners and their belongings have gone.


Kerry Rowand


Kerry Rowand
Spring, Portland, 2014

Kerry Rowand

I am pleased to be among the 65 photographers whose work will be part of the 2014 Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers, on display at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, Oregon from April 2014 – March 2015.

I hope to see you at the opening!
Blue Sky Gallery
122 NW 8th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
Thursday, April 3
6:00 – 9:00 p.m.



On the outskirts of Tampa lies an unusual town, even by Florida standards.

Gibsonton was once home to traveling circus performers during the off season – tall men, bearded ladies, “Lobster Boy” etc. Thanks to special zoning laws, residents could “keep anything from elephants and monkeys to a dismantled Ferris wheel on their property” (-Weird FL).

When I first learned of the town, I was more than a little curious to check it out. But as I drove around, the reality was far from festive. A dying circus industry led to an impoverished population. “No Trespassing” signs warned visitors to keep their distance.

I was reminded of Gibsonton when I passed this scene in Portland. A hint of playful that alludes to something darker.
Kerry Rowand

This Saturday, come out for the opening reception of LENS 2014 at Perspective Gallery in Evanston, Illinois. LENS is a group exhibition of 30 photographs (chosen from nearly 600 submissions), juried by Martha Schneider.

Saturday, March 1, 2014
5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
1310-1/2B Chicago Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201

The exhibit will run February 27 through March 30. Gallery hours are Thursday-Saturday 12-6 and Sunday 12-5.

Snowed in? See the images online here.


Kerry Rowand

I love spending time outdoors. In Portland, I’m not alone. Alongside a wealth of parks and trails, there are also nods to nature in the form of murals and architecture. Some blend in better than others.

One (perhaps bizarre) nature-inspired addition to many city landscapes are “trees,” or rather cell phone towers disguised as trees, as documented by South African photographer Dillon Marsh in his series Invasive Species.

I look around and am left wondering, could the illusion of nature – like “security theater” in airports – one day replace the real thing?


Agoraphobic, for a day

Last week’s inclement weather made me realize: I’d make a terrible agoraphobic. Easily restless, I much prefer being out and about to spending four straight days in the house.

I was reminded of photographer Uta Barth, who – at the time she was awarded her MacArthur Grant – had been photographing exclusively in her home for 14 years.

A nice reminder that sometimes we need to look deeper to see what’s right in front of us.

. . . and out of Florida, for that matter. But apparently Mother Nature has a sense of humor.
Kerry Rowand
Snow in Portland, Winter 2014

Kerry Rowand

Bird’s Eye View

Kerry Rowand
Bird’s Eye View, Portland, OR


Kerry Rowand

I was never one of those people who outlined strict goals and timelines for my future – accomplishments to carry out by age 25. But lately I can’t shake the feeling that I’m behind. Perhaps it’s the time change of being on the west coast, waking up three hours after my friends and family back east. Or perhaps it’s the number of photo competitions that require images to have been taken within the last two years – leaving me to fear there’s no audience for those shot prior.

I try not to think in terms of having ‘missed my window,’ and instead choose to view opportunities as more of a revolving door.

Here’s to projects (and people?) that get better with time.

This Thursday, January 9, is the opening of the One by One exhibit at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center (CPAC)!  This group show was juried by Eric Paddock, the Curator of Photography at the Denver Art Museum. The exhibit will run until Saturday, February 15, with an opening reception on Saturday, January 11 from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

In addition to the artists listed below, my work is part of another 60 photographs (out of over 1,250 submissions) that were awarded a Special Mention and are included on the exhibition website and catalog. Check it out!



In large cities, eccentric individuals are part of the landscape. In smaller communities, such individuals can become the stuff of legend.

I passed this gentleman on several occasions in my small neighborhood in Florida. He drove – and I believe lived in – a hearse, and was always accompanied by his pack of four yippy dogs. One day he might be dressed in a woman’s bathingsuit and sun hat, and another in full military garb. Locals referred to him simply as “the guy.”

Part of me wishes I had made greater efforts to learn more about him. But another part prefers to leave his story a mystery.

Kerry Rowand

Kerry Rowand

Listen to the cupcake. . .
Kerry Rowand

Happy New Year!

Battle Lines

Kerry Rowand

Kerry Rowand
Butcher Shop, Christmas Eve

Florida, 2013

For three quarters of 2013, I lived in Florida. Though it was my home during that time, more often my perspective felt like that of an outsider looking in.

I observed much in transition: transient people (spring break visitors, nursing home residents), transitional surroundings (construction sites, vacant apartments) and transitional belongings (at flea markets and yard sales).

I also sensed a community holding on to a promise of paradise that never quite came to be.

As I look back at these images now, from a new home in a new city,  I suspect these themes reflected my personal state of being as well. Fitting, that in the year of the selfie, I managed to make a project that’s all about me.

Kerry Rowand
Coming Soon (Construction Site), Tampa, FL


Kerry Rowand
Re-landscaping, Clearwater, FL


Kerry Rowand
Revelers, Gasparilla Pirate Fest, Tampa, FL


Kerry Rowand
11th Annual Tampa Elvis Festival, Plant City, FL


Kerry Rowand
Backyard, Tampa, FL


Kerry Rowand
Mural, Clearwater Beach, FL


Kerry Rowand
Vacancy, Clearwater Beach, FL


Kerry Rowand
Flea Market, Largo, FL


Kerry Rowand
Chuck (During Tax Season), Clearwater, FL


Kerry Rowand
Flamingos, Dunedin, FL

Thank you to Jim Goldstein at JMG Galleries and his 7th annual Best Photos of the Year blog project for the opportunity to share this work with a larger audience.

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