Reimagining the function of blueprints as used by architects, engineers, and urban planners to design the constructed landscape, Jessica Chappe and Annie Reynolds will create portraits of and with Hudson residents, rendering collaborative designs–blueprints–of the city’s past, present, and future.

On several dates throughout the month of July (TBA), Reynolds and Chappe will set up a table at various points from the Hudson river to the top of Warren Street and invite Hudson residents to have their portraits taken and to share stories, memories, drawings, questions, concerns and/or hopes through conversation to consider the city’s past, present, and future. Chappe and Reynolds will create cyanotype portraits with an assemblage of these materials and reflections. Each Hudson-resident collaborator will receive a scan of their portrait. An exhibition of portraits will be held in late summer 2022 (dates TBA) in the newly expanded Basilica Gallery. 

The cyanotype process–a photographic method using exposure to sunlight to develop prints in various blue hues–is an action of transformation, imagination, and composition created with both manufactured and natural elements. The layering of these elements reflects the individual and collective experiences of living in Hudson, through its changing landscape.

In their article Faces of a Changing Hudson, Annie Reynolds and Jessica Chappe spoke with newcomers and life-long Hudson residents, who reflected on their roles within the past, present, and future of their community affected by the mass pandemic migration to the Hudson Valley. This article spurred a collaborative interest in facilitating further conversations around the forces of change in Hudson, a recognition of the need to listen more to long term residents, and learn more about the history and future of Hudson.

Annie and Jessica have been trained in oral history with Oral History Summer School and approach their work with oral history values of reciprocity, anti-fixity, and open-ended questions. They share interests in co-authorship and collaborative methods, community engagement, embodied practices, and mixed-media storytelling.

Special thanks to the Hudson Area Library History Room and Oral History Summer School’s Community Library of Voice and Sound [https://www.libraryofvoiceandsound.org/about] for support with research and archival resources. 

Jessica Chappe

Jessica Chappe (Los Angeles, CA) is a documentary photographer. Her project-based work focuses on how people find belonging through community, place and the self. She believes in the power of collaboration and storytelling through using mixed media to expand our understanding of humanity and what keeps us connected. 

Chappe currently lives and works in Hudson, NY as a freelance photographer and storyteller. Chappe graduated from Bard College with a BA in photography in 2016. She was shortlisted in 2020 for the Open Competition and Alpha Female Awards in the Sony World Photography Awards. Chappe’s photo essay, Inside a 22-Person Pandemic Pod in a Hudson Valley Hotel was featured in Curbed, NY, an outlet of New York Magazine and went viral in July 2021. Chappe was hired by Times Union Hudson Valley to reflect on the man who coined the name “Witchcraft District” through interviewing and documenting the community. The piece A Look Inside Poughkeepsie’s Witchcraft District was published in October 2021. 

Annie Reynolds

Annie lives in Hudson, NY. She works in a variety of forms–from writing to interviewing to listening–to invite co-created narrative, particularly around themes of beauty, loss, and belonging; and practice new forms of attention and eros. Her work is deeply influenced by collaborative ethnographic methods, oral history ethics and praxis, and a trust in the art of listening. 

Annie currently works for Oral History Summer School, an oral history training program in Hudson, NY. She is also a freelance journalist and is currently researching the history of listening and sonic arts in the Hudson Valley. Before moving to Hudson, she was a member of Liberation Literacy, a prison-based writing and reading group in Portland, Oregon; a facilitator with Between the Lines, where she recorded parents reading books to their children from prison; and a program manager for a trauma healing arts non-profit. She holds a B.A. in anthropology from Lewis & Clark College and has received certification in Sound Design and Podcast Production from Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.