Kathleen Laraia McLaughlin received her BS in Psychology (1990) and MFA in Photography (2001) from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She has been living in the Los Angeles area since 2003.
She has received grants from Fulbright-Hayes (2015), Honghe China Photography Festival (2014), Romanian Cultural Institute (2013), United States Department of State (2012), Xiang Sha Wan China Photography Festival (2011), United States Fulbright Senior Scholarship Program (2003), and the IREX (Individual Advanced Research Opportunities) Fellowship Program (2003).
Kathleen’s images have been exhibited in solo exhibitions at the Museum of the Romanian Peasant in Bucharest, Romania; Lora Robbins Gallery, Richmond; WorkSpace Gallery, Lincoln; Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburg; ASTRA International Film Festival, Sibiu, Romania; and Charleston Heights Cultural Arts Center Gallery, Las Vegas. In addition, her work has been in numerous group shows, including, ONWARD Compe ’14 Project Basho, Philadelphia; FOTO Week Washington DC; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; Mingei International Museum, San Diego; Houston Center for Photography, Houston; Lancaster Museum of Art, Lancaster; and the Guate Photo Festival, Guatemala City.
The Color of Hay: The Peasants of Maramures is Kathleen’s first monograph of photographs. She is an active member of the Society for Photographic Education and has served on the board for several years for the west region.
Virginia Commonwealth University: B.S., Psychology 1990
Virginia Commonwealth University: M.F.A., Photography 2001
Industry Expertise (1)
- Society for Photographic Education
Research Grants (1)
Fulbright Senior Scholarship
Council for International Exchange of Scholars $30,000
A comparative photographic study of peasants from three regions within Transylvania, Romania. Photographs portray cultural variations as well as the transition of their traditions from forms preserved through geographical isolation to customs maintained as peasants’ deliberate statements of identity. These forms include both material objects such as costumes and technology, as well as ritual activities such as religious pilgrimage and folk dancing.
This scenic section of northwest Romania—one of our Best Trips 2015—is as culturally rich as it is remote. The following is a collection of images by photographer Kathleen Laraua McLaughlin, a member of our Your Shot community who has been photographing the villages of Maramures for over 15 years...
I am absolutely thrilled to share the success story of Kathleen Laraia McLaughlin, as I have had a ringside seat in observing the long road from major project to self publishing a magnificent book, The Color of Hay. It is a culmination of 10 years of hard work and the result is a beautifully designed and printed exploration of Transylvania at the turn of the Millenium-a place of “waterwheels and horse-carts facing erosion by the incoming tide of a modernizing European Union. During this pivotal time, in a remote valley of northern Romania called Maramures, peasants have kept their traditions alive and defied assimilation since the Romans. Now, a final generation is going about their daily farming chores and raising children who have the opportunity to leave their ancestral villages and make a modern life in a world of change.”
It began with dance. In 1995, Kathleen Laraia McLaughlin was introduced to Romanian and Balkan folk dancing, and she was transfixed by the rhythm and context. She would remember those dances a few years later, when she began to consider what type of photography project she would like to do...