A year later, luscious, life-sized Cibachrome portraits of the farmers lined the walls of Carrboro's ArtsCenter. The Carrboro Farmers' Market Photography Project travelled throughout the region, and is now part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington DC.

The subjects were photographed in an executive portraiture style -- after all, each was the CEO of their farms! Below each framed, 30"X40" print was a crate filled to the brim with a heap of soil from each farm. A brochure and a poster were printed (funded by the Triangle Community Foundation’s Qualex Fund and Highland Management Inc.) and a Farmers' Speakout was arranged for the community.

In 2003 Sonia produced a video (partial funding from the Orange County Arts Commission.) called "CHESTER: NC Farmer/Tarheel Legend." The half-hour documentary is her first video. Click here for a trailer (4 mins) Chester Film

FAQ's about The Carrboro Farmers’ Market Photography Project:
Why didn’t you photograph the farmers at their stands or at their farms?
Because I wanted to lift them from the realm of the ordinary and give them the air of authority they project. I did this by isolating them from their environment and shooting with my "corporate lighting kit," usually reserved for VIP's, executives and such.

Can I see the originals at the Smithsonian when I go to DC?
Yes, you can. But since the exhibits are constantly rotating, you’ll have to make an appointment first with the Photographic Collections' Curator at the National Museum of American History, Dr. David Haberstich, or 202-357-3779.

Were you brought up on a farm?
No, except for the first four years of life in a desert, I've lived in towns or big cities all my life. I learned a lot about growing vegetables from doing this project though!

Why did you choose to focus on Chester Copeland for the poster and the video?
Because he is the last of a dying breed of small farmers; because he is exceptional in his understanding of nature and human nature; and because he fascinates me.

To order the brochure, the Chester video or the “Eat Your Vegetables” poster, please visit How to Order Prints.

To license one-time usage in print or other media please see Licensing Page.
To order fine-art prints for wall display please visit How to Order Prints.

Cool NORTH CAROLINA links   •   (919) 967-1585   •   Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA