Chelleby's Urban Angels: Evocative New Photo Series.

November 26, 2009 23 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Jacksonville based photographer Chelleby is making waves with her new photo series, Urban Angels. Part fashion photography, part social commentary, the playful exhibit brings a light wistful touch to the issues of urban blight, contemporary evils and the sometimes unlikely people sent to help. MetroJacksonville brings you an exclusive online debut: Urban Angels, described by its creator as being about "the things everyone pretends that they can't see: Blight and the Angels sent to help."

Chelleby's work has fairly obvious roots in fashion photography, but her subject matter and central themes are hardly the empty headed glamour shots and moody lighting or melodramatic telenovella oevre.  Indeed, her models are young, fashionable, beefy, pouty and gorgeous, but in her photography they are imbued with something more than just their obvious physical charms. Instead she concentrates on social issues with a whimsical and light hand, presenting images that are both attractive and thought provoking.

Urban Angels is her new series, and it mixes images of a few social phenomenon with a couple of higher themes and ideas.  It is no less a reflection of the young hip urban people who have flocked back into the inner cities and urban spaces as it is the incongruous call of duty to heal, help, cure guard and repair the tragic neglect and decay that they found there.

Across the country the same story has been played over and over:  The grandeur and grace of our historic cities left to decay and ruin, only to be rediscovered by these unlikely, sometime gritty and scrappy angels.

Urban Angels also underlines that sometimes divine intervention can come in surprising forms.

We hope that you enjoy and love Chelleby's work as much as we have.  To see more, simply click on any one of the images twice and go to metrojacksonville's online gallery for larger versions and much more.

Angel 1  Anthony Greenfield

Angel 2  Lacie Burley

Angel 3  Khrystyna Kolomiyetes

1 Listen unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.

2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;

3 And said unto me, Thou art my servant, in whom I will be glorified.

Angel 4  Brian Mers

Angels 5  Lacie Burley and Khrystyna Kolomiyetes

Angels 6 Brandon Jinright and Megan Viola

Angel 7 Brandon McDuffie

Angel 8  Eleazer Ace Rubio

4 Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God.

5 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring the people again to him, Though they be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.

6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved: I will also give thee for a light to the world, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

7 Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One, and he shall choose thee.

8 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

Angel 9  Rachel Sawyer

Angel 10 Megan Viola

Angel 11  Emina Pasic

Angel 12 Lacie Burley
9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.

10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

11 And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.

12 Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west.

Angel 13 Khrystyna Kolomiyetes

Angel 14 Anthony Greenfield

Angel 15 Darius Lawrence

Angel 16 Khrystyna Kolomiyetes and James

13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.

14 But the land said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.

15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

Angel 17 Eleazer Ace Rubio

Angel 18 Darius Lawrence

Angel 19 Emina Pasic

16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

17 Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee.

18 Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the LORD, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth.

Angel 20 Emina Pasic

Angel 21 Khrystyna Kolomiyetes and Lacie Burley

Angel 22 Anthony Greenfield

Angel 23 Anthony Greenfield

Angel 24 Brian Mers

Angel 25 Rachel Sawyer
19 For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away.

20 The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell.

21 Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?

Isaiah Chapter 49

Angel 26  An Urban Angel

A short but sweet biography on Chelleby
Megan Viola

"Can art be seen truly, for what it is? Well what is it? No one has the answers to these questions. To some art can be a mosaic sculpture, generations old, however to Chelleby, her life is her art.

"Completely committed and saturated in her work she is devoted to leaving her signature on the world. Chelleby is a selfless survivor who has often starved in the name of art. Struggling to get by, she has found it in herself to keep focused and not for one single second lose her love, her love of art.

"Urban Angels is sure to be a success in depicting the cruel harsh and sometimes beautiful nature of the unknown----illustrating that even the most unsuspecting people can be someone’s angel, no matter how many tattoos, piercings, or how jaded or lonely you are. Also it contrasts the celestial beings against urban decay.

"(Her companion show "Revel" is also in development.  Its central theme takes the seven deadly sins----along with a few other sinful issues----to a strikingly innocent interpretation and unexpected height.)

"Chelleby is a very spiritual person with an incredibly sunny disposition. She finds the good in everything and chooses to hold that in her heart and reject all the negativity that most people dwell on. I have never met anyone like this woman, she is inspiring and heroic. If we could all be like Chelleby and do what we love no matter the struggle and pain that goes along with our passions, then, like her we would all live and love in our own masterpiece that is life."

Article by Stephen Dare
Photos by Chelleby