Carolyn Ballou a Cleveland Artist

I have spent several years capturing the essence of the streets through photography. My focus is documenting the transformation of Cleveland within context from industrial to impoverished and to where we are today. Living in Cleveland for most of my life has given me the opportunity to see the city ebb and flow with life and blight, as suburban sprawl continues to change the internal structure of downtown Cleveland. As I explored Cleveland’s abandoned industrial sites my interest piqued and there began the dialogue of what was to what is now. After spending time in these incredible and beautiful structures, I began to view the growth among the decaying spaces as an act of Nature, "reclaiming" her land.  Trees and flowers grow inside these structures that once held the guts of bustling industries.

I am intrigued by the images that began to emerge as I layer and juxtapos photographs of downtown Cleveland’s urban growth and urban decay within the same compositions. Ironically, the decrepitude is filled with life.