Artist Bio: Amanda Dahlgren is a San Diego-based photographic artist whose work opens dialogues about the way we live as a society and what we choose to value. Her work has been featured in exhibitions internationally and in print and online publications. Amanda is also an educator and mentor whose mission is to challenge and inspire everyone in her care to find powerful and authentic ways to express themselves through the photographic arts. Amanda is currently Director of the Athenaeum’s School of the Arts, a Gallery Educator at the Museum of Photographic Arts, Lead Producer for Open Show San Diego, and Chairperson for the West Chapter of the Society for Photographic Education and formerly an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Grossmont College and Contributing Writer for Lenscratch.
Artist Statement: In this ongoing body of work, I am exploring ideas about patriotism, allegiance, immigration, and about what it means to be an American. It started because I was thinking about my own experience as an immigrant, moving to the United States when I was roughly the same age as my daughter is now. One of my vivid memories about those first few days after arriving in the middle of 4th grade was learning to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. I didn’t really understand it and it made me uncomfortable to be making these promises so formally. More than 30 years later, I still have a complicated relationship with my country. It was founded by immigrants with idealized values of a united nation with liberty and justice for all and yet today’s America is a daily disappointment.