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Arts At Oakland 2021: An Interview With Dorothy O’Connor

Arts at Oakland 2021: An Interview with Dorothy O’Connor

Post Series: Arts at Oakland

Arts at Oakland 2021, happening May 21 through 31, showcases the work of six regional artists across Oakland Cemetery via a self-guided map. The artistic installations will highlight the hidden stories that can be found within the gardens and architecture of Oakland Cemetery. Purchase tour tickets.

We asked O’Connor to tell us more about her work. Here’s what she said:

The Urban Apiary, 2018, Atlanta Beltline Westside Trail. In collaboration with Zipporah Camille Thompson.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your background as an artist. 

I was born and raised in Atlanta and, except for brief stints here and there, I have lived in Atlanta most of my life. I began Georgia State as a photography major but ended up switching to a degree in English Literature. Several years after graduating, I decided to go back to school for photography. The world of photography introduced me to set building which eventually led to an interest in creating public art and sculpture. I enjoy working with my hands and learning new processes to incorporate into my work.

Do you have a preferred medium? If so, why?

I enjoy many different mediums for sure and feel like it is always evolving and shifting for me. I do love that photography can encompass so many different art forms within it. I still love shooting with film and the whole darkroom process too.

What influences your artwork?

I am heavily influenced by nature and the natural world as well as stories and storytelling—mine and others.

How was your piece for Arts at Oakland 2021 inspired by Oakland Cemetery?

The project was inspired and conceived by walking around the African American section of the cemetery and listening to some of the stories of those resting there. It was also influenced by the tragic story behind the need for Oakland’s restoration project and the desire to honor those whose resting places were so unjustly disturbed.


photo credit: Dustin Chambers

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