The Distressed Cities in America project emphasizes creative ways of thinking about economic problems, urban renewal, and redevelopment in cities across the country. Brought on urban flight, industry changes, and mismanagement, many cities have experienced deindustrialization, and economic difficulties. There are blighted areas in places that on the surface are thriving. Several cities included in the project have declared bankruptcy. Detroit is one those that is redeveloping parts of the city while other neighborhoods remain devastated. While photographing I am asked, “Are you from the gas or electric company, or the tax office? Are you thinking of buying this building? Is the city going to tear this building down?”
Strategies that are successful in one city might be applied to cities in other parts of the country. By creating photographs and artist’s books, I hope to increase understanding of how communities, and individuals can work through seeming insurmountable difficulties.
Sally Tosti is a Professor in the Visual Arts Program at Keystone College. She holds two Master of Fine Art degrees. Her most recent MFA is in Photography and Printmaking from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. Sally also holds an MFA in Drawing and Painting from Marywood College, Scranton, PA. Sally’s three-dimensional bookwork, Detroit Souvenir Box, was exhibited in the Opulence: Not Everything that Glitters is Gold exhibition at the Center for Book Arts in NYC in 2018. Her artist book, Go West, is currently featured in the Permanent Collection Spotlight exhibition at the Center for Book Arts. Sally was an exhibitor at Codex V and Codex VI in February 2015 and 2017. She will return as an exhibitor in Codex VII in February 2019. Her book, Opportunity Detroit 2016,is included in collection of the University of California Berkeley’s library. Her artist book, Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016, was included in the annual benefit for the Center for Book Arts in New York City. Sally’s artist book, Haight Pipe Dreams was shown in 2016 at the Book as Art v.4: Boundless, Decatur Arts Alliance, Decatur, GA, and in the Center for Book Arts 2016 Annual Benefit & Art Auction at the National Arts Club, New York, NY. In 2015, her photographs were exhibited in House on Fire: Photography Invitational, AFA Gallery, Scranton, PA. In 2014, Sally exhibited at The Camera Club of New York Annual Exhibition and Auction, Affirmation Arts, New York City; the NY Art Book Fair, PS 1, New York City; The Book as Art: Expanding the Limits, The Art Institute of Atlanta-Decatur, GA; the F.Lammot Belin 50thAnniversary Exhibition;Sky Lake Gallery, Fleetville, PA; Forever 39, Center for Book Arts, New York City; and the Keystone College Faculty Exhibition.