Maryland photographer Jay Fleming has spent years documenting the culture and environment of the Chesapeake Bay. In his exhibition Island Life he documents life on Smith Island and Tangier Island, the Chesapeake’s only inhabited offshore islands. Being water-locked and isolated from modern transportation has created a unique way of life on Smith and Tangier, allowing for a preservation of the island’s history and traditions. The islands were first inhabited by European settlers in the late 1600s. The location proved to be strategically important for commerce on the water; working-class men took to the water to make a living as the market for oyster harvests in the Chesapeake boomed in the late 1800's and into the early 1900's. Working on the water is still commonplace on Smith and Tangier.
Jay Fleming discovered his passion of photography upon receiving his father’s Nikon camera in his early teens. He immediately developed an affinity to looking at life through the camera lens and what ensued was an exciting photographic journey that would eventually lead him to his career as professional photographer. Though beginning under the tutelage of his father, National Geographic photographer, Kevin Fleming, Jay quickly and naturally developed a photographic style and identity all his own. This is Jay Fleming’s third museum exhibition.