Carla K. Gourdin, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 1996
photograph, Angela Dawn

Artist Statement
Angela Dawn

I photograph lesbians as a way of celebrating our pride in loving women, documenting our stories and experiences, and showing the beauty in our differences. I want to add to our growing visibility and Herstory. I have been inspired by Joan Biren, Tee Corinne, Pamela Harris with her book, Faces of Feminism, and especially by Cathy Cade's book, A Lesbian Photo Album: The Lives of Seven Lesbian Feminists. When I found that book in 1989, I knew that I wanted to be a photographer and travel the country meeting lesbians.

In the Spring of 96 with financial support of local Santa Cruz businesses, friends, family, and as a program of the Santa Cruz Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Community Center, I began the Lesbians Across the Country Project. I traveled for eleven months gathering stories about the diverse passions in life and ways of living that lesbians and queer women have across the country. My work is not an objective window into lesbianism or "A Day in the Life of" but it's about particular women's lives, and my own personal experiences making connections with them.

Pastor Terri Wade Stancil, God's Other Sheep, Norfolk, Virginia, November 1996
photograph, Angela Dawn

Community Involvement

I was born January 18, 1971 in Dayton, Ohio. I grew up in Kansas City, Kansas and moved to California in 1986. I received a Bachelor's Degree in Art with an emphasis in photography from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1994. I focused my courses in Women's Studies, Art Theory, and Art History. Since then I have worked mostly at one hour photo labs and now work as the Assistant to the Development Director at The Santa Cruz AIDS Project.

I have written a monthly column about Women of Note in Santa Cruz for a local publication; was a board member of the Santa Cruz Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Community Center for two years; and help to plan the annual Santa Cruz Pride Festival. I have been involved with the Santa Cruz chapter of the Lesbian Avengers to increase visibility and fight discrimination. While a part of the campus community at UCSC, I helped to plan Queer Awareness Week for three years including the coordination of the annual Queer Art Show. I was a signer (director) for Sappho, a social/support group for lesbian, bisexual, queer, questioning, and non-labeled women for three years and created a lesbian photographers' discussion group.

I participated in a Lesbian Visual Artists' juried show in San Francisco; exhibited a senior photography show called "Conversations With Women Who Love Women" at the Women's Center on campus at UCSC; and have had three solo shows at the local feminist bookstore, Herland Book-Cafe. I gave a slide presentation at the Museum of Art and History in downtown Santa Cruz about The Lesbians Across the Country Project. In 1997 I was nominated as a Woman of Note in Santa Cruz.

Tary Mocabee, Ronan, Montana, June 1996
photograph, Angela Dawn

Accomplishments

I published work in A Tom Boyz Production Uniforms address book; wrote a monthly column in a local newspaper about my current project, "Lesbians Across the Country," while I was traveling; and published work in Curve magazine and in Pandora's Box, a local lesbian safer sex calendar.

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All text Angela Dawn.