Archival pigment print of Kelley Williams, measuring 16x20 inches.
This project was made possible with the support of a Civic Engagement Grant from the Ursinus Center for Advocacy, Responsibility and Engagement (UCARE).
Kelley Williams grew up a city girl in Baltimore. But when you’re at her log home, city life feels very far away. “I love the peace and quiet,” she says. The area was even quieter when she and her husband built their house in 1984. “It was very, very rustic,” she says. “We didn’t have a kitchen. We had one toilet, one laundry tub to wash dishes. We camped out on our living room floor with our bed and that’s how we lived for probably a year. So we roughed it.” Williams has taken advantage of the space to raise many kinds of animals, from rabbits to giant turkeys to surprisingly crafty chickens. “We had a breed of chicken that was kind of more wild,” Williams says. “We took in this breed and they would roost up in the trees—they would fly up in the trees and sleep in them! They would find the cedar trees where they would really try to hide.” Her current chickens are a little less adventurous. Williams, however, likes to get away from home as well. She goes to Florida two times a year to fish. On one of these trips, she caught a mahi-mahi, or dolphin fish, that was four feet long. An even bigger catch got away from her: “One year I hooked a wahoo, as they call them in Florida—a 50-60 pound fish. I had that for 45 minutes, reeling it into the boat, and the minute I got it to the surface a shark came and ate the whole fish right off my line! So I didn’t get to celebrate that fish.”
Williams’ favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. “I’ve really taken that holiday under my wing,” she says. “We kind of bring in a lot of, I want to say misfits who don’t really have anywhere to go. So we try to do that and open our doors. And it reminds me of being a pilgrim, which in those days I probably would have been!”
Copyright of the underlying work is held by the artist. The digital image presented here is for educational purposes only and is not for commercial use.
student art, 2015, documentary photography, Ursinus College, staff, portrait, photograph, archival pigment print