In 1979, Lisa McCord began to document life on her grandparents’ cotton farm, Rotan, at Rotan Switch, located on the Mississippi River in Northeastern Arkansas. (Rotan Switch is the railroad switch where the cotton bales were loaded onto the trains traveling northeast to the textiles mills.) These vernacular images of every day life depict McCord’s family heritage, struggles, and celebrations, as well as the lives of many African Americans in the rural south.
As a local photographer, McCord has the unique perspective of being both an insider and an outsider. She is welcomed into the local homes, cafes and churches to capture images, which reflect the memories of her childhood.
Lisa McCord is a fine art and documentary photographer from the Arkansas Delta who lives and works in Los Angeles and Arkansas. Her color and black & white photography focuses on her experiences on her family’s cotton farm, allowing the camera to take her places both in the past and present, creating photographs that explore her memories and tell her stories.
McCord has published several books on her southern life and LA culture, including Rotan Switch, Waiting For The Trial, Granddaddy & Bruce’s (Elvira) Wedding Reception, Nancy Sherwood: My Mother’s Passing, and LA Bathrooms/Pinatas. She has shown her work both domestically and internationally and in over 35 exhibitions including Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins; Classic Photographs Los Angeles, the Annenberg Space for Photography Museum in L.A, and the Cotton Museum in Memphis. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including Black & White Photography (UK edition), Float Magazine, and Feature Shoot. She was a Critical Mass Finalist in 2015 and 2016, and her work is in the permanent collections of the Arkansas Arts Center and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.
August 25, 2017