Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Spotlight on Tammy Rebello, photographer for Abandoned Asylums of Massachusetts, who will be in our store on Sunday, May 15 with her writing partner, L.F. Blanchard, to talk about creating the book and the history behind these buildings—and their contributions to psychology today.
Thank you for joining us, Tammy! Would please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your art? How would you like us to introduce you?
My name is Tammy Rebello. I have four beautiful children and live in Oxford MA. I began photographing after my first child was born in 1990 and I have been photographing ever since. My photography is my passion, coping mechanism and includes subject matter such as portraiture, historical, architectural, abandoned locations, landscapes, and sports.
When you’re working with an author for a book, how does the relationship develop? How does it vary between projects? What’s your preferred relationship with an author on a project?
My relationship with Lynn began nearly 3 decades ago. We met as high school freshmen at South High Community School and have been friends ever since. I began photographing for this book about 2 years before I contacted Lynn. I contacted her first because I knew she was an awesome writer and had a passion for it. This is my first project so it has been a fly by the seat of your pants experience. With a signed contract for our next book already in place, we have a good idea of how we work together and what we need to change for the next book. We compliment each other pretty well with our individual approaches to this project.
What was the biggest challenge in creating [newest project/spotlighted release]? How did you overcome that challenge?
The biggest challenge was not seeing Lynn in person more often, though we did manage to work around that and get together when we really needed to. With her schooling, personal life and art and my work, schooling, four children and their activities- it made it very difficult to meet in person, though we did talk and email almost every single day.
What’s your favorite medium as an artist? Do you vary between projects or pieces? How do you choose the best medium?
I paint and draw but photography is my passion. With my anxiety I find it difficult to paint and draw, as I have this need to complete it in the same day instead of giving it the time and attention it deserves. Photography gives me that initial instant gratification. I do vary on my subject matter just to keep it fresh for me. If I feel weighed down but photographing a particular subject matter, I often will take a few days to photograph something else, just to switch it up.
What is one thing that most people don’t realize about you?
That I suffer from mild depression and severe anxiety. This is something I do not usually share as I am a private person, but this book and Lynn’s courage to speak about herself has given me the strength and the voice to speak up not only for myself but for the sake of others.
What has been your favorite adventure during your artistic career?
There are two but I would say it had to be during a trip to Arizona with my brother Joshua. We had gone to Tucson to visit our cousins and as always I look for abandoned places in any location I am traveling to. I found two places to photograph. One was an old mining town on the way to Las Vegas, which was very cool. It had sod houses in various stages of decay, clearly from the 1800’s. The other-my most favorite, was photographing the Casa Grande Domes in Casa Grande, AZ. These are the most bizarre buildings I have ever seen and I photographed them in about 3 minutes, as I was trespassing out in this very open & desolate location, where a cop had just passed by. Coolest place ever!
Where can people find your work? (Books, galleries, online sales?) (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
Abandoned Asylums of Massachusetts is our first book and is out now. My personal work can also be found at http://www.tammyrebello.wix.com/tmrvisualarts and http://www.tammyrebello.wix/abandonedchronicles- our book website is http://www.abandonedma.wix.com/abandonedma
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?