Artist Statement Submitted 2017Andrews South Carolina is the home of recording star Chubby Checker. Located in an agricultural and timber region, Andrews thrived economically on small manufacturing plants. It was severely impacted in 1996 when the towns largest employer closed its plant. At the time of shutdown, Oneida employed 497 people in Andrews. Many former employees moved away seeking employment elsewhere. The town’s economy plummeted and has yet to fully recover.
Today, most of the store fronts in Andrews have been abandoned or are in disrepair. But, while the stores are empty, the hearts of the local residents are not. Those who stayed are strong and resilient. They have managed to survive in difficult times and have stayed positive, open and friendly. Andrews is a faith based community and positive change is on the horizon. I am photographing the people of Andrews and their town, because they are truly an inspiration.