Sarah Hoskins

(American, b.1961; resides in Libertyville, IL)

The following quote of Sarah’s appeared in American Legacy magazine just months before Katrina hit New Orleans. It has been circulated nationally and internationally.

“African American history has been so neglected in this country in writing and photography. The United States as a society just hasn’t cared enough, and a lot of African American history has been literally bulldozed over. I’m hoping my photographs will help show that we’ve got to hurry before it’s just too late.”

This portfolio is part of Sarah Hoskins’ ongoing series The Homeplace: Photographs from Historic African-American Hamlets In Kentucky¹s Inner Bluegrass Region. With each visit she makes, she is continually told of people and places where “you need to go.” Her work was recently added to The Smithsonian Institution’s permanent collection. She took part in the The Manifest Hope Exhibition at the Democratic National convention in Denver, 2008. She received her third Illinois Arts Council Special Assistance grant in 2008. In 2007 she received a grant from The John Anson Kittredge Educational Fund.

Past Portfolio, 2004

Sarah Hoskins' ongoing series The Homeplace: Photographs from Historic African-American Hamlets In Kentucky's Inner Bluegrass Region began in the fall of 2000 as a follow up to a newspaper item she'd read. As word of mouth spread, Hoskins formed relationships and followed a series of invitations into a growing number of communities. A sampling of these introductions include a farmer in his last year of tobacco planting, a church with only four members, and a sisterhood organization 100 years old. Now making six to eight trips a year, Hoskins attends harvests and homecomings, church functions and family reunions alike, photographing the people and practices of communities with deep roots facing the challenges of changing times.

Recognized with Illinois Arts Council Special Assistance Grants in 2004 and 2006, Sarah Hoskins' work is included in several permanent collections, including the Library of Congress; the Center for Photography at Woodstock; CITY 2000; and the Lubbock Fine Arts Center.

Past Portfolio, 2002

Sarah Hoskins has worked extensively for the past four years in the inner Bluegrass Region of Kentucky, documenting communities founded by freed slaves. There are roughly 29 of these communities currently identified and more become apparent as the project progresses. As development moves in the communities become threatened, yet the traditions and the people survive. The ways of life founded by their ancestors continue -churches, basket meetings, lodges, social clubs, tobacco farms, and communal hog butchering.

Hoskins attended Columbia College Chicago (BA, 1983), graduating with a degree in photography. She has received grants from the Puffin Foundation (2003) and Ella Lyman Cabot Trust (2004), as well as an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Photography (2003). In addition, her works have been published in Photo District NewsAmerican Photography Annual 19, and