Dennis Smith



In my time living in Sacramento, and to a greater extent California, I have come face to face with the crippling reality of homelessness. My most honest outlet for capturing my feelings of frustration about the situation has been to document it in writing and in art.

The Trail Along the River “The Trail Along the River”

The raw image is unsettling - a natural collision of disparity between the wild beauty of open nature and the uncontained intrusion of the signature monuments of social abandonment. Along an otherwise untouched walking trail in Sacramento, there was a quarter mile-long caravan of tents, tarps, mattresses, disassembled appliances, and detritus. The odor of the hopeless living conditions, the hills of trash, and the ragged gaze of the camp's occupants was overwhelming. I could not do much to help the people whom I saw, so I tried to capture the image and convey it with vivid color to make people look at the art and then realize what it is they are actually seeing within it.

Cone “Cone”

This image is of another discarded pile of detritus from an abandoned camp. I found the subject interesting as the materials had been abandoned by the person who had themselves been abandoned while society and time moved on without them. Days after this photo was taken I watched as other people picked through the materials and took what they considered valuable to them at the time.

Despair in Blue “Despair in Blue”

This image is untouched. I meant to adjust it, but I felt that the raw image - a blue-hour view of a family in the park sleeping in their vehicle that no longer runs - said everything that I wanted to convey.