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Meet Lyn Sullivan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lyn Sullivan.

Lyn, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I think I knew very early on that creating something every day to share with those around me was a meaningful way of expression. How one sees the world and one interpret its details is the beauty of any creative endeavor. Also, I have had wonderful mentors and collaborators that have encouraged my artistic work.

The first camera I recall was a Kodak. The nostalgia of going with my parents to buy film and that iconic yellow box it came in taking images of my family, relatives, and friends. I remember taking the film out under my bed in the dark of my room. My first professional camera was a Canon D-40 and I have been shooting with Canons ever since. I travel a lot and have really become a fan of my Canon G-12 that I bought a few years ago. It’ small, shoots “Raw” and it’s very easy for street photography.

My most meaningful accomplishment to date was when I met in the last two years with both the Director of the Archives de Paris and the Director of the Museé Carnavalet in Paris. Each of them reviewed the images I shot after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris in January of 2015. The Archives of Paris now has 25 of my images from this body of work titled “N’oubliez Jamais” (Never Forget) in their permanent archives. The exhibit ran for 5 months in Houston at The Alliance Française. I was unaware when I was shooting this work of the historical value of my images. My intent was to capture the memorials and tributes in the streets of Paris as the French were coping, grieving and trying to come to grips with an assault on their citizens and Freedom of Expression.

I have been a student of the arts all my life. I studied many artists and admire the works of so many from the masters to emerging artists in the Houston art scene, but my inspiration for street photography comes from Henri Cartier-Bresson the French humanist photographer considered the master of candid photography. His book “The Decisive Moment” is in my library in both the French and English editions. The cover art by Matisse is a classic and I never miss an opportunity to visit his foundation in Paris.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
After the financial collapse of 2008, I found myself relocating back to Houston after eight years as a successful executive in the San Fransisco Bay Area. I needed a re-set and decided that I would get back in the “Art World” after putting my son through college, a failed marriage and financial setbacks due to the financial crisis and divorce. I decided I needed to concentrate on my art which had been on the back burner for a couple of decades. I was an art major who took economics and ended up in the business world. It was now time for me to be the artist I always dreamed of and that had taken a back burner. I joined the Houston Center of Photography my very first year back and was immediately introduced to local artists and art lovers. One key individual I met was a photographer for the Houston Chronicle at the time. He was my first true mentor and advocate of my work.

He predicted that I would have an exhibit within a year. Well, that challenge was enough for me to put myself out there and I started approaching venues that displayed various types of art around the city. Challenged accepted and I remember making that call to him two months later to say “I have a show!” I have since pursued my work and exhibitions with passion. Successfully having exhibited throughout the country and currently have an exhibit that opened last weekend.

Reinventing yourself is always a challenge, but so rewarding to create the world you desire for yourself.

Please tell us about your photography work.
Someone once wrote about me as an “Urban Photographer who captures the essence of daily human lives and their existence in the cities and spaces in which they live.” I’m a street photographer and I hope my art reflects society not only in its current moment but how it sculpted itself to be.”

I consider myself a contemporary urban photographer based in Houston and whose home away from home in Paris, France. My images capture social, historic and abstract interpretations of metropolitan environments.

Recently, I received significant recognition for my photography from the prestigious Archives de Paris. I traveled to Paris in 2017 to attend a ceremony in my honor at the Archives and presented 25 of my photographs for placement in its permanent collection.

My work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions and is collected by both private and corporate collectors throughout the United States and Europe.

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