Lisa Elmaleh: American Folk & Brandon Thibodeaux: When Morning Comes

This spring Candela Books + Gallery will host two solo exhibitions: Lisa Elmaleh’s American Folk and Brandon Thibodeax’s When Morning Comes. Both bodies of work present a classic-yet-contemporary take on two Southern subcultures in a period of transition.

Lisa Elmaleh, “Hannah Johnson, Keezletown, VA,” 2012. 9.5” x 12”
Archival pigment print from unique 8”x10” tintype


Brandon Thibodeaux, “Choo Choo with His Bible, Alligator, MS,” 2012. 15” x 15” Archival pigment print













Lisa Elmaleh employs the 19th century wet collodion tintype process in her documentation of present-day folk musicians living in and around the Appalachian Mountains. Preserving the essence of a tradition tied distinctly to place, Elmaleh creates portraits and landscapes of haunting beauty. The subject matter and the chosen photographic process are paired purposefully, as Elmaleh explains; “The tradition of American folk music echoes in the historic nature of the tintype photographic process. As urbanization becomes more prevalent in America, American rural identity and culture become obscured.”

Elmaleh is a Brooklyn-based photographer and educator at the School of Visual Arts and the Center for Alternative Photography. She has been awarded PDN’s 30, the Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation Grant, the Aaron Siskind Foundation IPF Grant, and The Everglades National Park Artist Residency. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and appeared in Harper’s MagazinePDN, and Rangefinder, among others.

Brandon Thibodeaux photographs among five rural communities that span roughly 15 square miles in the northern Mississippi Delta. Towns like Alligator, Bo Bo, and Mound Bayou are historically rife with poverty and racism, but are also emblems of faith and perseverance today. Thibodeaux began the project as a personal exploration but encountered the universal; “While this work makes specific reference to the rural black experience, I am reminded that with every visit themes of faith, identity, and perseverance are common to us all.”

Thibodeaux is based in Dallas, Texas. His photojournalist work has appeared inThe New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and Forbes, among others. In 2012, Oxford American named him a New Superstar of Southern Art. And in 2013, When Morning Comes won several notable awards including Photolucida Solo Exhibition Award, PND Faces Contest, and was a Center Awards finalist.

A preview reception and artist talk will take place Thursday, March 6, 5-8pm. The exhibition will open to the public Friday, March 7th, 5-9pm.