Nancy L Abrams
Nancy L. Abrams, 1953 St. Louis, Mo.
Nancy L Abrams grew up in St. Louis. Her father was in the hospitality business and her mother was a dog breeder. In 1974, while a student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Abrams took a 3-month internship in the small town of Terra Alta in the mountains of Preston County. That one summer prompted a life in the mountains. Abrams fell in and out of love, raised two sons -- mostly as a single parent -- and became a leader of a community-owned farm.
Her journalistic beat included a vast and beautiful terrain of mountains, forests, and rivers – a region with a perennially struggling economy. The period covered by Abrams’ archive included enormous cultural transition. In a state prone to caricature, one of Abrams’ greatest accomplishments may be the level of nuance she captures in her subjects and how these remarkable images illuminate humanity.
Abrams’ illustrated memoir, “The Climb from Salt Lick: A Memoir of Appalachia” was published by West Virginia University’s Vandalia Press in May, 2018. Abrams' book is composed of 35 highly personal recollections with carefully curated images capturing the artist’s perspective.
Chicago Reader, "Photojournalist Nancy Abrams looks back on her years in West Virginia in The Climb From Salt Lick: It’s a great corrective to ugly caricatures of Appalachia", Dmitry Samarov, May 14, 2018. (Online and in Print).
Read an article on one of Nancy's subjects at West Virginia University Press website: "Guilt by Omission: A Photojournalist's Struggle"
Charleston Gazette Mail April 15th, 2018, "Photojournalist visited Preston County, made a home there". Freeland, Abby.