Somewhere in the Middle

Cynthia Johnston

2018 - Ongoing

After graduation from the University of Wisconsin, I left the Midwest to pursue employment on the East Coast. With time, I adapted to the Northeast but maintained connections to the culture and people “back home”. Until the election of 2016, I thought I knew the Midwest, and thus, myself. I felt so out of touch with the place enshrined in my heart. It had been decades since I traveled extensively in the US. There were many states to which I had never ventured; several in which I was fearful to travel. I started to see the outlines of my personal bubble.

During the last two summers, I wound my way through 20,000 miles of small towns dotting state highways and rural routes in the "red" and "purple" states situated between the East and West coasts. The scenes presented in this work are those viewed by the eyes of a prodigal tourist who, after decades of living elsewhere, has re-discovered her former home; a place that is, by turns, filled with spectacles and sorrowful sights.

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