From the Camden Series, photographs of children Trick-or-Treating on Broad Street in Camden. Camden is the largest town in Wilcox, County the poorest county in the state, 38 miles from Selma, Alabama. Arthur Rothstein and Marion Post Wolcott photographed in Gee’s Bend across the river from Camden in 1947 for the FSA. Rothstein photographed Artelia Bendolph, whom he often referred to as Queen on the Nile.The 2010 census lists the median income for a family as $22,100 and one out of four households has a female head with no husband present. Halloween is the great equalizer, where children get to be what they want to be, a gorilla, a hooded ninja, a convict, a sparkle fairy before they grow up and find that these things mean something else. Siblings in this community care for their younger family members, carrying them and protecting them.
Sonja Rieger has exhibited widely at regional and national venues, most recently at Carmen Wiednhoeft Gallery in Denver, Colorad; the Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans, Louisiana; the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston Salem, North Carolina; the Ogden Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana; and the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Other exhibitions of note are at the A.I.R. Gallery, White Columns and the Sherry French Gallery, in New York; at the Jones Troyer Fitzpatrick Gallery, and the Martin Gallery in Washington D.C., at the Fotogalerie Bordenau in Frankfurt, Germany; and in Hitachi, Ibaragiken Japan. Her work is in the collections of the International Polaroid Corporation, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Huntsville Museum of Art, and other corporate and private collections. Recipient of two Individual Artist Grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, Rieger has also received grants for projects from the Polaroid Corporation, the Southern Arts Federation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is represented by A Gallery of Fine Photography in New Orleans; and at Beta Pictoris in Birmingham, Alabama. Sonja Rieger received her MFA from Rutgers University, her BA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and became a Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1979. From 1991 to 1997 she served as the Chairperson of the Department of Art and Art History.