Like so many people in our community, when the pandemic first hit, my livelihood as a working artist vanished overnight. The best year of my career was canceled. As the crisis deepened, I found myself mourning the loss of social interaction — a major creative outlet for me — more than any lost work. But I knew I wasn’t alone.
Inspired by the creativity and compassion of my fellow East Nashvillians and craving human
connection, I set up a socially-distanced outdoor studio in my backyard to photograph my friends and neighbors wearing their face masks. What started as a fun way to beat the isolation and idleness quickly became a project that allowed me to use my skills to document the times and create images that send a positive message.
This is my record of the creative, stylish, empathetic Nashvillians who trust science and care about others. I hope to continue the project for as long as I can, as long as people are willing to swing by, and as long as this message is necessary.
Masks are not political. Masks are not fear. Masks are science. Masks are empathy for our fellow humans.
WEAR A MASK, NASHVILLE.
—Jeremy Harris, July 2020