Ashley M. Jones

Ashley M. Jones is a Florida-based large format photographer practicing within the broad genre of social documentary photography. Jones received her MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design and her BA from the University of South Florida. Her current body of work, Frogtown to Victory, is her attempt to comprehensively document the current state of Savannah’s Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard corridor through long-term documentation. Photographs from her series Frogtown to Victory have been featured in numerous publications including American Oxford, LightLeaked, One One Thousand, New Landscape Photography, Incandescent, IMPRINTS Magazine, Ticka-Arts, and ToneLit. She is actively exhibiting nationally and internationally in both group and solo exhibitions.

Ashley_Jones_1_oInterstate 16 Flyover: Earl T. Shinoster Bridge, 2012.

Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, 2012.

Frogtown to Victory

The mass production and relative affordability of the automobile in the early 20th century resulted in considerable changes to our nation’s infrastructure and the need to intersect highway systems with urban neighborhoods. As a resident of Savannah, I am fascinated by the rich history and historic architecture of the city. However, there is a stark division between the restored and legally protected buildings within the central National Historic Landmark District and the struggling, run down neighborhoods that surround it. I am specifically interested in the at-risk neighborhoods along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and the ways in which they have been impacted by the construction of the Interstate 16 flyover.

602 W. 31st Street, 2013.

2510 Montgomery Street, 2013.

This elevated section of Interstate 16, the Earl T. Shinholster Bridge, held it’s official ribbon cutting in 1967. The construction of the interstate coincided with several other large-scale urban renewal projects including the construction of Kayton and Fraiser homes south and east of the flyover. It intersects with the Westside of Savannah in the historically African American “Frogtown” neighborhood—a neighborhood that has been on the decline since the interchange was completed. In 2010, I began photographically documenting the homes, businesses, and churches in the area immediately surrounding the flyover. My documentation has since expanded to include neighborhoods south of Frogtown and extending several blocks south to Victory Drive. This area includes Cuyler-Brownsville, a neighborhood similarly impacted by connection of 37th Street to I-16. My photographs depict the current state of this community and the architectural structures that remain to provide an understanding of the historic and contemporary context of this community. I am further exploring local movements to renew and revive Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and the neighborhoods immediately impacted by the Interstate.

1509 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, 2012.

701 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, 2012.

608 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, 2012.

Map of 1898, 2013.

Map of 1916, 2013.

409 W. Taylor Street, 2013.

Map of 2010, 2013.

1902 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, 2012.

Disconnected Jones Street at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, 2012.

1018 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, 2013.

502 W. Victory Dr., 2013.

Interstate 16 Exit Ramp, 2012.

Additionally, Jones was recently awarded the Imaging Spectrum Award for the 13th Annual Joyce Elaine Grant Photography Exhibition as well as Second Prize in the Daily Life and Culture category for the Professional Women’s Photographer’s 38th International.

To view more of Ashley’s work please visit her website.