Arlington, VA. (ABC7) — Two Arlington County residents set out on a year long journey to see all 50 states and document it through art, photography via the 50 states project.
That was before the pandemic temporarily stopped their plans in March 2020. At that time, they were on the road for four months.
Kate Fleming and Tom Woodruff said they started the project after months long travel abroad in Australia. “We were meeting all of these Australians who were actually better traveled in America than we were, we realized we didn’t know our country very well," Fleming said. "We realized that we wanted to paint and photograph in all 50 states.
As artists, they partnered with Capital Hill Arts Workshop also known as CHAW, a non-profit organization in the District that builds a community through the arts.
“We were collaborating with a group of kids at CHAW sharing our experience from the road, we checked in with them weekly and they would make art in response to the stories we were telling” Fleming explained.
However, what began as a project to see all 50 states turned into a study of before and after the impacts of 2020. “What does our country really look like? That is my research question" Fleming said. "Everyone has been at home so that has translated to especially early in the pandemic – I painted tons of rolls of toilet paper."
Kate and Tom say they plan to get back on the road in April. So far, they have traveled to 33 states.
To read more about the project, click here.