Photo faculty Colin Stearns is featured in Oxford American

Written by:


Colin Stearns, Assistant Professor in the Photography Program at Parsons, has his photographic series, Survey, featured this week in Oxford American Magazine.

In Survey, Colin Stearns documents the landscape that surrounds the Mason-Dixon Line. Stearns writes:

I walk the path made by Mason and Dixon looking for the beginning of this country’s compass—in the process, imagining the vision they saw. I photograph this border of cultural distinction at the places of its occurrence, which often appear open-ended and without detail.


This border was created before states were states, before the Union was chartered and before the Civil War. What comes of it when a culture self-divides its common geographic space? What happens when a culture is delineated and then has to identify as being a part of a new and separate whole?


Boundary lines shape and contain cultural identity by preventing one culture from ingesting the other. This body of work examines the original motive for the Mason and Dixon survey and how the result came to inadvertently shape regional culture.

Colin Stearns is a photographer who understands this world better through the study and production of images. His primary focus is the landscape. Stearns’s recent exhibitions have been in Pingyao, China, and Tokyo, and he also shows in New York. His work has recently been published in Supermassive Black Hole magazine, Conveyor magazine and The Photo Review.

Stearns teaches “Landscape & Space” at Parsons The New School for Design, where he is an Assistant Professor of Photography. He has an MFA from Hunter College and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. To see more his work visit his website.

All Rights Reserved © 2024. Parsons School of Design.