By: Katie McNally, firstname.lastname@example.org | UVAToday
Fourth-year University of Virginia student Logan Dandridge takes a look inside the minds of UVA community members with his new semi-permanent art installation on Grounds. Inspired by the work of “Humans of New York” photographer Brandon Stanton, the new display outside Garrett Hall will feature photos of UVA students, faculty and staff along with their reflections on their experiences here.
Dandridge, a double major in media studies and interdisciplinary studies, has named the project “Beyond Skin Deep: The UVA Experience.” He was able to bring it to Grounds through the Social Justice and Diversity Fellowship, offered jointly by the IMP Society and the Black Student Alliance.
“The premise for what I wanted to do is very similar to ‘Humans of New York,’ but a little more focused on social justice, diversity and sexual conduct,” Dandridge said. “I’m really interested to see how it can stir up a dialogue on Grounds.”
Before taking their photo, Dandridge asks his subjects a series of questions. He starts with “What does community mean to you?,” then asks, “Has race affected your experience at UVA?”
“My last question is open-ended,” he said. “I just ask them to share a project or passion at the University that’s really impacted them.”
Dandridge first became interested in photography in high school, after spending time with an uncle who works as a professional photographer in New York. He’s always seen his art as a way to break down barriers and learn more about the people around him. For him, “Beyond Skin Deep,” is a kind of visual sociology.
“I love talking with people,” he said. “I love connecting with people and I think doing that visually and publicly is really interesting, especially right now when everyone likes to walk around with their face buried in a phone.”
Dandridge hopes his new installation will prompt more people to look up from their screens and outside their typical social bubble. He hopes that those passing his display will look at the photos and quotes that follow and discover more ways to relate to the people they see.
“Fostering an environment where people are willing to make friends that they’d never expect and to form uncommon relationships is really the first thing we do to make our community more diverse,” he said. “That’s the central theme of the project for me.”
UVA Today has a sneak peek of Dandridge’s photos below and the full installation can now be viewed in front of Garrett Hall.