amy pleasant     seattle
Coolidge/Long PhotographsTHE BEGINNINGDetail of "The Beginning"FAMILY PORTRAITDetail from "Family Portrait"GRACE IN HANDDetail from "Grace In Hand"END OF THE DREAMDetail of "End of the Dream"PARLEYDetail from "Parlay"LONGEVITY LOOKING FOR THE COOLIDGESDetail of "Longevity"LONGEVITYDetail of "Longevity"FAMILY TREEDetail of "Family Tree"ANNIVERSARYDetail from "Anniversary"UNTITLED PORTRAITUNTITLED PORTRAITUNTITLED PORTRAITUNTITLED PORTRAITUNTITLED PORTRAITROOTS TO SKYROOTS TO SKYArtifactsCuyahoga Falls, Ohio


Two years ago Seattle artist Amy Pleasant inherited the family photograph album. The result was a series of paintings exploring memory and generational transition. This interest moved beyond her own family as she began to collect the discarded vintage photos at thrift stores, leading to the question; "What becomes of us when there is no one left to remember?" Her series "Lost and Found' offers hope that the remains of a life lived lies just beneath the surface of the glossy black and white.

A woman approached Amy at that exhibition and offered her a box of over 200 photos which she inherited from her great aunt after her passing. She did not recognize anyone and wanted to pass them on. The artist noticed this collection of photos contained the artifacts of one couple's lifetime together; the evidence suggested these were the Coolidge family of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, spanning a time period from 1926 to 1978. Before the days of digital photography, there was no delete option. All pictures were developed, including the moments before and after the posed portrait. The "less than perfect" shot was not deleted. This box held an intimate visual record of those small, unscripted moments of one family's life. The artist's ornamentation and embellishment of the original photo visually hints at "the hero's journey" lived in the unremarkable details of daily life.

Two large paintings depicting the wedding day and the 50th anniversary serve as the "metaphoric bookends" between which the less spectacular, but perhaps the more significant moments of life are lived. As a culmination for this work the artist is researching the family, literally looking for the Coolidges in hopes of returning this collection to the Coolidge descendants.