San Francisco, CA, USA
Sheila McLaughlin grew up New York in the mid fifties. Her fascination with taking photographs and working in a darkroom led to her attending the School of Visual Arts in New York City and graduating with a BFA.
She moved to Paris, France in 1976 where she completed a body of work consisting of women walking alone in the dark streets of Paris. Upon returning to New York she spent several years teaching photography.
After moving to San Francisco, CA in 1980 she attended the San Francisco Art Institute where she earned an MFA in photography. This led to more teaching at UC Berkeley Extension, California College of Art, Santa Clara University, and at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, OR.
In 2002-2003 she moved to Ireland to photograph. Upon completion her black and white series of derelict houses Homestead was exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Artists Gallery.
She currently lives in the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco, which is the subject of her present project: Z-ONE.
She has been awarded artist in residencies at:
Light Work, Syracuse, New York
Custom House Studios, Westport, Ireland
Artist Space Gallery, New York, Grant recipient
Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, Award winner
San Francisco Arts Commission, SNAP, Award winner
My project, Z-ONE, is about weaving together a community through photography where none existed before. It turns out living in a city surrounded by people is isolating for many. We are crammed up against each other by concrete but might as well have rivers and mountains between us.
Though my project has its roots in my own sense of isolation, it has also tapped into a broader unrest in the city about our changing cityscape. We are in a period of rapid gentrification, stratification and separation. Google buses are being blockaded. Rents are spiraling upward.
In fact, three of my subjects have been displaced either by eviction or buy-outs since I began this project. A new demographic of young, and affluent tech workers are emerging replacing those who have been encouraged to move out of the city. Z-ONE was not conceived to document these changes. But these experiences, all of them, inform the title of the project: I am the one who resides in the zone of our neighborhood.