Contemporary Chronicles of St. Augustine

October 7, 2022 – September 30, 2023

Contemporary Chronicles of St. Augustine explores the urban fabric of St. Augustine through large-format photographs, hand drawn maps, and interactive photographic flip books. The project seeks to define St. Augustine through the residential streets and neighborhoods that have long been inhabited by the people that help support the city as a premier tourist destination. Through interactive sequential images, visitors to the exhibition will uncover the overlooked aspects of everyday life in America’s oldest city.

The exhibition presents the collaborative vision of the photographer, Rylan Steele and the landscape architect, David Spooner, as they seek to discover and uncover the overlooked spaces of historic St. Augustine. Traversing the urban environment on foot, with camera and pen in hand, the images in the exhibition document the artists’ exploration of the landscape through visual and kinesthetic experience.

The photographs, diagrams, and flipbooks featured in the exhibition provide models for how we come to know the contemporary built environment—acknowledging the pathways and intersections, the landmarks and structures, the edges and vantage points that generate an image of a place.

Rylan Steele, Oglethorpe Avenue, St. Augustine, Florida

The exhibition opening for Contemporary Chronicles of St. Augustine will take place during the Lightner Museum’s October 7 Community Open House

Rylan Steele

Rylan Steele earned degrees from the University of Georgia, Florida International University, and the Southeastern Center for photographic studies. He is currently an associate professor of photography at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. He has exhibited photographs in numerous regional and national exhibition spaces including the Georgia Museum of Contemporary Art, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Chrysler Museum of Art, and the Light Factory. Rylan has been a finalist for the Hudgens Prize for Georgia Artists and the Lange/Taylor Prize awarded by the Duke Center for Documentary Studies. His work is in the collection of the Georgia Museum of Art, the Center for Creative Photography, and the Do Good Fund for Southern Photography.

David Spooner

David Spooner is an Associate Professor in the College of Environment Design at the University of Georgia. He holds an undergraduate degree in Horticultural Science from North Carolina State University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from The University of Georgia. He is a licensed landscape architect with 20 years of private practice experience. His research interest broadly centers on the complex relationship between people and the built environment. Related interests include visual aspects of the built environment, streets, walkability, human scale, and design for healthy communities.

Featured Image: Rollins Avenue, St. Augustine, Florida,  Figure ground and Photograph (composite image)

Support for this exhibition comes from the Crisp-Ellert Fund at the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts.