Artist of the Quarantine: Jake Durham

"One of my favorite quotes is from Albert Einstein, 'I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.' Yet this is the challenge for artists. How does one find inspiration in imagination?" Jake Durham said. "I spent the majority of my carer as a pilot, and being one allows you to see the world from a unique vantage point. It changes one’s view of everything, and that is what I learned to do with my photography. I am constantly challenged to find new ways to perceive the world around me and share that view with others. My work can be categorized as fine art and, at times, can cover a wide array of subjects from landscapes to portraits to still life and even the abstract. More recently, I have focused my work on identifying the beauty in decaying and abandoned structures.

"One of my most recent projects, Forsaken in the Heartland: The Decay of Oklahoma’s Education System, is a photographic series and continual work in progress that documents abandoned, closed and historic schools in the state. Many of these institutions were a staple in rural communities and among those that served African Americans, Native Americans, the disenfranchised and the poor. As these institutions closed down, many students found themselves forced to travel significant distances to continue their education or forgo it altogether. This is a pictorial documentary of America’s struggle with inequality and the education system."

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