Born and raised in the Lower Ninth Ward, Keith Calhoun is a New Orleans photographer committed to documenting the local culture, spirit, and people of his hometown.
He began his photographic career running a portrait studio in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Since then, he has documented the African American community in New Orleans and its surrounding areas, creating a unique body of work that chronicles the daily lives and cultural richness of this community over the past thirty years. Past work includes stories on laborers on the loading docks of the Mississippi River, sugarcane plantations on River Road, and day laborers working in sweet potato and cotton fields. In addition, he has produced an extensive body of work on Angola Prison, focusing on its incarcerated men and the impact of the prison system on their families; the work was featured in Aperture in February 2006.
Calhoun's work has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Sun-Times, and Albuquerque Tribune. His photographs have been included in exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Philadelphia African American Museum, Civil Rights Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, The Peace Museum, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York University, and Aperture Gallery. He has received several awards from the New Orleans Press Club.
Calhoun and creative partner and wife Chandra McCormick (also a Katrina Media Fellow) lost two-thirds of their photographic archives when their home and studio were ravaged by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina. They have relocated to Spring, Texas, but are in the process of rebuilding their New Orleans home and photography studio in the Lower Ninth Ward.
© 2007 Center for Rural Strategies