Chickasaw Culture Keepers

Jim Trosper sees photography as a way to capture a moment, preserving it for future generations. His ethereal and vibrant photographs and time lapse sequences of the land, the sky, the stars and nature transport the viewer to a single point in time and evoke a deep sense of emotion. He wants his viewers to feel a connection to nature the same way he does while taking the photographs. "We are a people who have lived off the land, lived with the land," he says, "I feel like getting back in touch with that really inspires me to produce the high quality of art that I’m really proud of." Photographing the stars and the Milky Way specifically helps Jim feel a connection back to his Chickasaw heritage. Even though his ancestors weren't taking photographs of the celestial sky above, he knows they were gazing at it in awe just like him. "A lot of traditional Chickasaw artwork is beadwork, it's basket weaving, things that are physical and that you can put your hands on. I try to use my photography to bring a new way to look at Chickasaw traditional art," he says. Jim hopes that young Chickasaws who see his work are inspired to connect with nature just like him and get a sense of who they are as Chickasaw people.