Who We Are
We're two artists documenting America
through painting and photography.
Kate Fleming is a painter, a printmaker, and a documentarian of the American landscape based in Arlington, VA. Kate dreamed up the idea for The 50 States Project way back in 2016 when she and her partner, Tom, were traveling around Australia in a camper van. The small, plein air oil paintings she created in all 50 states capture the human-built American landscape: gas stations, parking lots, strip malls, and big box stores. Kate has completed residencies at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst, VA and Penland School of Crafts in Penland, NC, and Capitol Hill Arts Workshop in Washington, DC. Kate’s work was included in the exhibition Inside Out, Upside Down at The Phillips Collection in 2020.
Tom Woodruff is a documentary and street photographer based in Arlington, VA and a co-founder of The 50 States Project. He is a graduate of Ohio University's school of Visual Communication with a Master's degree in photojournalism. In 2019, Tom was a finalist for the Reinke Grant for Visual Storytelling. He began to explore non-literal imagery in 2019 with his project Shape Oblong, a deeply personal study of his own struggles with mental illness. Tom’s work for The 50 States Project explores how anxiety shapes our culture and reality. How do those anxieties contribute to current tensions in the U.S.? His research is driven by his own fears that we're beyond repair — as well as his stubborn optimism for the future. Are things getting better or are they getting worse? What is the future of America?
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW) plays a unique role in providing creative opportunities to a broad spectrum of students in the DC Metro area. Their educational offerings span a wide range of visual and performing arts with after-school classes, camps, workshops, outreach, and residencies serving students and artists of all ages. It is a source of organizational pride that CHAW has never turned away a student for inability to pay.
Since 1972, CHAW has been a creative hub for exchange of ideas and culture, bringing diverse groups of people closer together. It is a space where people from different racial, socioeconomic, and geographic backgrounds can learn and play together through shared artistic experiences. CHAW’s mission of building community through the arts is rooted in the belief that making art in community with others requires an openness that creates space for taking risks. That same openness enables participants to share their stories and perspectives with others — visually, musically, theatrically. This powerful mechanism for engendering empathy, acceptance, and appreciation of others is at the heart of all that CHAW does.