Jennifer Garza-Cuen is a photographer from the Pacific Northwest. She received her MFA in photography and MA in the History of Art and Visual Culture from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her BA in comparative literature was completed at the American University in Cairo. During both years of her attendance at RISD, she received the prestigious RISD GS competitive grant. She was also awarded the Daniel Clarke Johnson, the Henry Wolf, and the Patricia Smith Scholarships. Additionally, she has received fellowships to attended residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Oxbow, Brush Creek, Ucross, and Hambidge. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, published in contemporary photography journals such as Blink, The Photo Review, and Conveyor Magazine as well as on-line journals such as Conscientious, Feature Shoot, Aint-Bad, Fubiz, iGNANT, Dazed, and Juxtapoz.
Reno is part of a larger project entitled Wandering In Place, which depicts a series of locations in the United States as a residue of my cultural memory, an inheritance. It is a metaphorical memoir, a narrative re-telling of facts and fictions and it is also my discovery of the dreamland that still is America.
Reno is a place that embodies ideas of Western idealism, the frontier spirit, transience, and the gambler’s impulse to risk everything for the chance at a better life. It was founded as a toll, a passage across the Truckee River, and on silver from the Comstock Lode. In Reno, I attempt to come to terms with the defining force of place while returning to my own experience of being a wanderer, a state that obscures identity and embodies what it means to exist outside the codified order of the defined.