Caleb Cole

Society for Photographic Education Award

Caleb Cole (born Indianapolis, IN; lives Boston, MA) is a multidisciplinary artist whose work addresses the opportunities and difficulties of queer belonging, and aims to be a link in the creation of that tradition. Cole received a BA in Gender Studies and Sociology from Indiana University, Bloomington and an MFA in Visual Art from Lesley University Cambridge, MA. Cole exhibits regularly at a variety of national venues and has held solo shows in Boston, Chicago, New York and St. Louis, among others. Cole was an inaugural resident at Surf Point Residency, York, ME and received an Artadia Boston Finalist Award, Hearst 8×10 Biennial Award, 3 Magenta Flash Forward Foundation Fellowships and a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship in Photography, among other distinctions. Cole’s work is held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MA; Newport Art Museum, RI; Leslie Lohman Museum of Art, New York, NY, Brown University Art Museum, Providence, RI and the Davis Museum, Wellesley, MA. Cole teaches at Boston College and Clark University, Worcester, MA and is represented by Gallery Kayafas, Boston.

Statement from the Artist:
“In Lieu of Flowers” is an ongoing series of memorial portraits of the trans people murdered in the United States and Puerto Rico.  Part mourning ritual and part photograph, I use the roses from my garden and portraits primarily made by the subjects themselves to create a series of anthotypes, images created using photosensitive material from plants and the sun that cannot be fixed, therefore will eventually fade. This process is an act of devotion and extended witnessing over the course of the days- to weeks-long exposures. The resulting work is an examination of community, loss, time and the impossible effort to extend both the life of their roses and the memory of these stolen lives.