Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Featured Ky Photographer, Sarah Lyon

"Jessica" by Sarah Lyon

About the photo:
When I asked Jessica if I could make an informal portrait of her, she suggested we go to Tink’s because she had heard of it but had never been there. Tink’s Pub is the only lesbian bar in Louisville; offering dancing, drag shows, live music, and pool tables. Low-ceilings with a mismatched decor that changes occasionally but never seem to make sense; the smoky neighborhood bar is what one might call a “dive”. It is one of the more diverse gay bars in town, attracting a wide age range of lesbians, gay men, and working class people from its surrounding Germantown neighborhood. Often it is almost empty; other times it gets so packed, you have to wait for 20 minutes or more in line for one of three bathroom stalls. Tink’s is a poignant place for me because while growing up in Louisville I did not have many people I could relate with about my sexuality. The only way I could get information as a teenager about gay culture was through (usually bad) lesbian movies and music. On the jukebox at Tink’s, there are so many of the songs that I listened to during that time. To hang out there is to revel in that nostalgia. There is something about going to a place where you have at least one thing in common with most people there, even if that is the only thing. It feels safe. I suspect that gay people who move to Louisville, from more rural areas of Kentucky, may feel similarly about having access to clubs and bars like Tink’s. The simple portrait of Jessica, who actually does not identify as a lesbian, does not directly address her sexuality. For me it is more about her comfortable relationship with the photographer and my delight in sharing this slightly odd yet meaningful place with her in the middle of the day.

Sarah's Bio
Sarah Lyon is an artist living in Louisville, Kentucky. A graduate from Miami University of Ohio with her BFA in 2000, her work has been shown in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and internationally. She began her series of Louisville Portraits and Spaces since returning to her hometown in 2001. Her work also includes documentation of a local seafood restaurant chain, called “Shooting Moby Dick at Night: Searching for the Great White Whale.” Sarah produces the Female Mechanics Calendar, a wall calendar that features real women mechanics working in their environments, traveling to them around the country on her vintage motorcycle. She has received grant support for various projects from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and The Kentucky Arts Council. An adjunct professor of Photography at Bellarmine University in from 2006-2007, Sarah works as a freelance photographer and represented by Zephyr Gallery in Louisville.

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