InterUrban ArtHouse (IUAH) is a non-profit organization creating a new hub for arts and culture in Johnson County, Kansas. IUAH’s mission is to enrich the cultural and economic vibrancy of Downtown Overland Park and surrounding community by creating a place where artists and creative industries can work and prosper in an affordable, sustainable and inclusive environment. This exhibition features local photographers currently working with IUAH. We're happy to share an interview with one of those artists, Sharon Rodriguez.
What comes first – the medium or the message? Tell me a little about the work that will be on view.
Message comes first. What message do I want to tell about person experiencing homeless-ness. Then comes the medium which conveys the message.
I started this project with questions. Do we have homelessness in Johnson County? What do they look like? Where are they? These photographs in this “”It’s About Time” art show are the answers to these and many more questions.
What do you feel is your role as an artist?
To raise awareness of the social in/justice issues facing Johnson County the most affluent county in Kansas. These homeless people are not going away! In fact the “problem” is getting worse.
What influences your practice/works?
Seeing through my heart is what my work is about. I see the faces of real people, not someone to be ignored or pushed aside. I am considered a free-lance photographer. I work on projects that draw my interest.
Who are the other artists you look to for inspiration? And what about their works do you like?
Dorothea Lange inspires me because she had a passion for telling the people of plight’s story through her photographs.
What other writings do you recommend reading to have a better understanding of your artworks and your art practice/process? Please look through our on-line catalog and provide any links to resources that you would recommend.
Finding Grace by Lynn Blodgett https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/805551036
Voice in the Mirror by Gordon Parks https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/133908036
Photographs of Dorothea Lange https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/241270036
Homeless Not Invisible my book https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1534292036