November 5, 2014 - November 30, 2014
Small-Town Hip Hop
While working at the local newspaper in Roanoke, Virginia, artist Jared Soares began searching for a personal project to occupy his free time. Although he had been a longtime fan of the music, it took a few years for the photographer to gain access to the inner circle of the town’s small but vibrant community of hip-hop musicians. Once inside, the artist spent four years documenting in dynamic color not only the difficult work of writing, recording, and performing, but also a shared joy in a lifestyle in which hip-hop exists as an integral, motivating force behind (or in spite of) everything else.
“It is an American pursuit, told in tight focus – people who want to go from Here to There. But despite knowing how to strike the poses of success—the gold teeth, the defiant sneer—There rarely comes. The reality of Here is a grind—working a double shift and stretching to make ends meet. But the workaday life is a little more palatable when there are beats to be made and rhymes to be written. In front of the microphone, There seems within reach. Even if only for a song.”
Jared Soares is a photographer living and working Washington, D.C., whose projects explore the intersection of community and identity in contemporary American life. Soares’s work has been exhibited in both group and solo shows at venues including Museo d’art contemporena Roma, the O. Winston Link Museum, Longwood Arts Gallery, and the Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative as part of the Look3 Festival of the Photograph. His work is in the permanent collections of the Sloane Art Library at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Nelson Atkins-Museum of Art, and the Indie Photobook Library, among others. In 2013 he was nominated for PDN 30 and the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass, and the National Press Photographers Association and the Puffin Foundation awarded him grants to begin work on a project about disappearing mining communities in Western Pennsylvania in 2012.