Nate Larson is a contemporary artist and a professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore. His projects have been widely exhibited across the US and internationally, including an upcoming commissioned solo exhibition for the George Eastman Museum (opening January 2019) and past solo exhibitions at Filter Space Chicago (2016), the Orlando Museum of Art (2013), Blue Sky Center for Photographic Arts (2012), and the Contemporary Arts Center Las Vegas (2011). His artwork is included in the collections of the High Museum Atlanta, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Orlando Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago. His first book was published by Flash Powder Projects in 2016.
Centroid Towns is a fine-art documentary project studying the twenty-five cities that have been the mean center of population of the United States using photography, oral history interviews, and local archive research. The project puts a face to statistical data, chronicling these towns and their inhabitants to illuminate the ongoing social and political transformation of America.
The Centroid, or mean center of population, is described by the U.S. Census Bureau as “the point at which an imaginary, flat, weightless, and rigid map of the United States would balance perfectly if weights of identical value were placed on it so that each weight represented the location of one person on the date of the census.” This point is calculated every ten years to accompany the Census, first located in 1790 near Chestertown, Maryland, and moving steadily westward, currently residing near Plato, Missouri. The path of these twenty-five coordinates mirrors the population growth of the nation, following the routes of settlement from the Atlantic to the interior. It also mirrors my personal history, linking my current home in Maryland to my Midwestern roots in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri.
To view more of Nate Larson’s work please visit his website.