The Homeplace

PhotographerSarah Hoskins
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

The Homeplace: Photographs From Historic African American Hamlets In Kentucky Inner Bluegrass Region


In the decade after the Civil War African American settlements sprang up around the horse farms in Kentucky’s six-county Inner Bluegrass Region. These villages, or hamlets, as they have come to be known were originally inhabited by freed slaves who were needed to work on the area farms. Today, many of the residents are descendents of the freed men and women who founded them. In some cases as many as six generations of a family have lived in succession on a “homeplace” in these communities. Some of these hamlets are prospering while the existence of others is tenuous. With each visit I make I am continually told of people and places where “you need to go. “ 

About Photographer

Sarah Hoskins is a documentary photographer; currently her time is split between Chicago and Lexington. Her 16 year project The Homeplace: Photographs from Historic African American Hamlets in Kentucky’s Inner Bluegrass Region was just featured on NPR's Weekend Edition as well as NPR's Picture Show. She was chosen for the 2010 Robert C. May Photography Endowment Lecture Series at The Art Museum at The University of Kentucky. Her photographs have been included in over 100 exhibitions and are in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, and the Center for Photography at Woodstock, CITY 2000 (Chicago), the Lubbock Fine Arts Center, and the City of Chicago. In 2009 she received funding for her Homeplace project from The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Alice Rosenwald Flexible Fund for Schools. Her work was recently renewed for the third time at The Museum Of Contemporary Photography's Midwest Photographers project in Chicago. Her work was selected for Photography Now, 100 portfolios an international survey of photographers sponsored by Eastman Kodak. Her documentary photography projects have been featured in American Photography Annual 19, American Legacy Magazine, Foto8, Photo District News and The Digital Journalist. She is the recipient of several fellowships and grants, most recently for her long term project The Homeplace: Photographs from Historic African-American Hamlets in Kentucky, which she is currently working on. Hoskins is also an educator. She was a guest lecturer in 2010, 2007 and 2004 at the prestigious Women In Photography Workshops at Empire State College in New York City. She has introduced documentary photography to teens and adults who have never had the opportunity to express themselves with a camera before. She is on the Illinois Arts Council Arts In-Education Roster to teach documentary photography in the state of Illinois, she has received two Illinois Arts Council Short-Term Residency grants to teach photography to homeless men, women, and children.