Photos in ‘Anonymous Ancestors’ art exhibit challenge viewers to consider own family history | Arts
, 2022-11-05 09:00:00,
Auctions and garage sales are all about good finds and scoring deals on things people are ready to let go of. People come to put their claim on nice decor or eclectic knickknacks. But what caught artist Susan Lenz’s eye was something most families treasure.
Lenz often found stacks of old photographs during her trips to Bill Michoe’s auction in Columbia and stops at garage sales across the country. The photos varied in time frame — some in color, others in black and white — and many had no timestamps or any information about the people in them. Lenz was left to wonder about the stories of the prized possessions left behind.
“Who are these people?” Lenz asked of the photos. “What are they thinking? Why didn’t their families hold on?” With these questions in mind, she decided to start seriously collecting photos in 2017.
Through frames, embroidery, magazine collage words, three sculptural garments and the collection of thousands of photos, Lenz created “Anonymous Ancestors.” The exhibit, which opened Oct. 28, immerses viewers in generations of family history and gives a voice to the photos.
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