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Melinda Mead Scharstein
South Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2015

This work seeks both to catalog and to pay homage to structures that I view as critical to the architectural and cultural fabric of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. In all of them, I see a tender richness—of character, of beauty, of story, and of history, all of which are unique to this place. We are part of and apart from each other. They make up my home.
As wealth moves through and shapes Charleston, these places teeter on an economic precipice. They are vulnerable landscapes. In the past decade, the social, cultural, and economic landscapes of this place have changed dramatically. These are reverent portraits of buildings for which there likely will not be a place in “The New South.” In the time between photographing and printing, most of these structures were renovated beyond recognition or demolished entirely. This work is both an anticipatory elegy, and a celebration. I love these spaces just as they are here: honest and open testaments to the history and the people of this place.

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