Fotomonday : Reno – by Jennifer Garza-Cuen

With “Fotomonday“, each week we showcase the work of women photographers from around the world.


Imag[in]ing America depicts a series of locations in the United States as a residue of cultural memory, an inheritance.



It is a metaphorical memoir, a narrative re-telling of facts and fictions and it is also a discovery of the dreamland that still is America.



Reno embodies ideas of Western idealism, the frontier spirit, transience, and the gambler’s impulse to risk everything for the chance at a better life. It was founded as a toll, a passage across the Truckee River, and on silver from the Comstock Lode. A pioneering town that has never abandoned its traditions of boom and bust; Reno is a place of gambling, drinking, and legalized prostitution. It was once known as the divorce capital of America, attracting glamorous prospective divorcees from around the country who established residency just long enough to untie the knot. Even in its brush with glamour Reno remained true to the profane. It was and is a place of extremes, where mediocrity is traded in for a chance at the exceptional. A transient space made up of transients, Reno is a place of dreams and deviation, a place to forget the past and look toward a better future, a place you move to finally imagine a new beginning. And though most of the dreams are never realized and those that are quickly vanish, still it is the image of Reno as the quintessence of its failed myths that reverberates and entices. 



Jennifer Garza-Cuen is a photographer from the Pacific Northwest. Currently Assistant Professor of Photography at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, she received her MFA in photography and MA in the History of Art and Visual Culture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012. Her BA in comparative literature was completed at the American University in Cairo. During both years of her attendance at RISD, she received the RISD GS competitive grant. She was also awarded the Daniel Clarke Johnson, Henry Wolf, and Patricia Smith Scholarships. Additionally, she has received fellowships to attend residencies at Light Work, The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Ucross, Oxbow, Hambidge, Brush Creek, and the Vermont Studio Center. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and published in contemporary photography journals such as Musée, Blink, The Photo Review, and Conveyor Magazine as well as on-line journals such as Conscientious, Feature Shoot, Aint-Bad, Fubiz, iGNANT, Dazed, and Juxtapoz.

See more of her work