See you soon Flower City Arts Center!

I can’t believe it, my summer as Artist-in-Residence at the Flower City Arts Center went by so fast! The past few months were filled with so many challenges and productive activities. While my work is primarily shot using black and white film, I haven’t had the chance to print images within the darkroom in almost seven years. For me, working in the darkroom is like riding a bike – something that feels natural even after many years without practice. It was truly a delight to be able to reconnect and use the darkroom this summer.


I also got the chance to teach a FCAC 4×5 photography class. What a challenge! A big thank you to all my wonderful students this summer. It was a great learning experience and I had a lot of fun carrying around the 4×5 camera on our field trips. The photos have been looking great, and I can’t wait to see more of the images that were shot during the class. One of my favorite things about photography is the way it connects me to people. Besides the 4×5 class, I also got to connect with youth migrant farmers at a SUNY Brockport photography workshop. While this was a short-term workshop, I am hoping to work on a larger project with this group, since the students have so many amazing stories to tell. 


Out of all my projects however, I mostly enjoyed starting my new body of work It’s called the American Flag. While I had some initial ideas for this project, I didn’t expect that it would grow to center around my everyday landscape in Rochester. I was continually surprised by how many different ideologies could be found living together on the same block. As I began to photograph, my objective for the project grew to raising awareness on a local level and hopefully encouraging people to connect with their neighbors no matter what their beliefs. I can’t wait to come back next year in order to continue this project.

I will really miss the FCAC along with all the wonderful people that I was able to connect with here. Thank you all for your continued support. See you soon!

Citlali Fabian

It is called the American Flag

My work has focused to explore the different ideas about identity, what defines it… and how it is molded. These questions came back to my mind when I started to live in the US.  How people identify themselves as “Americans”. I’ve found it surprising how many people feel like they are from everywhere in the globe, less from the USA, but that doesn’t stop them from feeling less patriotic…

The project “It is called the American Flag” was arising to reflect about this idea of “be american”, to show the relevance of a symbol in our everyday environment and maybe with images show different ideas around them. I need to say, to me it is impressive how many flags are outside homes or public spaces, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the first foreign person who has noticed. When I asked about it, the first answer from my friends was something like it is common to see them outside conservative houses, but that doesn’t apply for everyone.

Definitely the creative process of each artist is different between them. To me working and continuing to post about an ongoing project is difficult because it is not complete. I need to organize my thoughts and clarify my ideas, about what I’m trying to communicate, to express… to show. Also how I want to do it, which are the best media, which are the best ways to work on it. In short I need to create a visual and mental map.

At the end I decided the best way to approach this subject would be through instant photos because they represent to me a unique piece of visual culture, but the snapshot themselves could be seen as common and valueless. I started by taking instant photos of every flag around me, starting with the ones around the places where I had been living since I arrived in Rochester, creating a set of maps…  To me these maps represents the nets that I’ve been creating around, showing them as a net that connects different areas and different periods of my life here.

AIR Introduction: Citlali Fabián

Hello everyone! I’m so glad to introduce myself to the Flower City Arts Center community. My name is Citlali Fabian and I will be a Photography Resident starting next week! I’m originally from Oaxaca, Mexico but I came to Rochester two years ago to participate in the program of Photographic Preservation and Collections Management at the George Eastman Museum. Since then I have been learning and evolving my way of producing images. One of the most interesting changes that happened to myself was to discover how I started to appreciate my own culture in different ways. Being emerged in another culture let me see how ordinary things can be extraordinary, and it also strengthened my sense to belong somewhere else.

So as an artist I have been exploring different perspectives to understand and photograph the concept of identity and belonging. In my work Mestiza, I photographed woman in Mexico looking for their understanding around our condition as “half blood”, exploring connections between cultural statements and personal beliefs, resulting in a deeper visualization of their own image.

I think in the world we are living in now, we can be at risk when embracing our own identities, as part of any kind of ethnic, religious, social or sexual orientation group. In certain ways, our society encourages division instead of unity: boundaries, walls, classification are all part of it. Being different is turned into something negative and symbols representing unity have become ambivalent. As a foreigner these are crucial elements to understanding the re-composition of identity. With this in mind, I’m developing the project American Flag. I will be sharing with you the development of this work, including my experiences and motivation around it. I hope to have the chance to connect with you and share ideas.