Photographer: Builder Levy in West Virginia

builder levy west virginia

Photographs by Builder Levy

Today is the birthday of West Virginia, which was admitted to the Union as its own state on June 20, 1863 after seceding from Virginia. It is the state in which I was born and raised, and for that I am proud. While I have taken many photographs in and of the state, today I’d rather share the work of Builder Levy. He is one of my favorite photographers to have documented Appalachia and its people — and they are some of the most honest, objective and beautiful images of the subject. I recommend checking out his book Appalachia USA, in which these few images can be found. Also, have a listen to my uncle Jerry Andrick’s song “West Virginia” at the bottom of the post. builder levy mingo county builder levy coal miner

Decoration Day (2007)

mike andrick appalachia

Monday was Memorial Day (formerly known as Decoration Day), so I thought I’d share this image I took of the Cooper family decorating their mother’s grave near Bradshaw, West Virginia, in southern McDowell County. I spent months documenting the Coopers and another family in War, West Virginia, in 2007 as part of my graduate thesis project.