Chandra McCormick

Artadia Awardee

“Chandra McCormick’s documentary photographic practice provides a visual chronicle to the lived experiences of African-American life and inspiration to generations of New Orleanians cultural practitioners.” 

 Thomas Lax, Curator of Media and Performance at the Museum of Modern Art in New York

Chandra McCormick was born and raised in the lower ninth ward of New Orleans, Louisiana. She has been documenting Louisiana and its people for more than 25 years alongside her husband Keith Calhoun. Whether chronicling religious ceremonies, cultural traditions, and visual histories of the Lower 9th Ward or tracing the legacies of slavery through sugarcane laborers on plantations, sweet potato field harvesters, or life at Angola, Louisiana State Penitentiary, their images bear witness to the social realities of Black life—historicizing and archiving the rich unique traditions and deep-rooted attributes of Louisiana culture. Since the early 1980s, Calhoun and McCormick have engaged photography as a site of social activism—documenting, illuminating, and conveying the struggles and celebrations of the Black American experience.