Marta Garcia is a Cuban American photographer who started her artistic career in theater. After receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida, she founded Akropolis Acting Company. While Artistic Director, her company received recognition for winning best local theater company from both Miami News Times and The Palm Beach Post. Her highly visual and conceptual pieces won her recognition as Best Local Director. Marta first picked up a camera while working on dance and theater pieces as a form of note taking. While conducting study and research in Meyerhold’s Biomechanics her camera carried her out to into the streets of Miami capturing the expressions of the protestors during the Balseros migration.
Marta’s work in the theater led her to Chicago where she would eventually study photography at Columbia College. After graduating, Marta began her career as a freelance photographer. Her interest in social issues has allowed her to photograph a vast array of subjects, from manufacturing companies to leaders of the free world. She has shot for many national publications such as the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and The Wall Street Journal. Marta is a recent recipient of the 2013 3Arts Award and the Awesome Foundation Award for her multimedia storytelling work in Chicago communities titled Division Street Project. Marta’s love for narratives and storytelling has led her to develop multimedia projects, which provide platforms for the voices of marginalized communities. These personal projects include her work with the seniors at LaSalle St. Senior Center and most recently her collaboration with StoryCorp capturing the stories of 9 inmates at Danville correctional center.
Marta continues to work as a freelance photographer and as a teaching artist throughout the Chicago area. She currently teaches at Marwen where she has found great fulfillment in working with the young people of Chicago.
I use photography as a means of self-expression – I make pictures for myself, to identify with hidden qualities of my character, to better understand my reality, and to express my interpretation of the world around me. A clearer understanding of myself and of my world allow me to explore fragments of life and also to interact with people I would otherwise not be able to engage with. My goal is to use my camera to open an unexplored world, a place of curious self-expression, but also a world of new relationships, new chances new beginnings and most importantly new stories. Every picture has a story. Every photographer is a visual storyteller. It is through these stories that people are inspired. Inspiration sparks imagination. Imagination sparks creation. Creation leaves a legacy that inspires the same creative cycle to repeat itself. Life is not meant to be experienced vicariously. My hope is that by sharing my images, they will inspire actual adventure, awareness, and empathy.
My choice of subject comes from a place of intuition and is fueled by an impetuous desire to partake in the stories that unfold around me. I seek the unknown and I look for the light within the shadows, the stories that are not at first obvious and the uncommon in the common. I photograph people in their environments because I am curious of what lies behind their eyes, where they have been and where they hope to go. Through my photography I intend to share the beauty of the places I visit, the character of the people I encounter, and ultimately help my clients achieve their vision. My on-going mission is to explore the limits of the camera, to constantly strive for new solutions and ultimately to create images that inspire, provoke thought, evoke emotion, and restore the natural spirit.