Mariah Karson’s AMERICAN LEGION documents the photographer’s travels to four American Legion posts in towns with populations under 1,000 to photograph and interview Legionnaires. Between 2014-2016, Karson witnessed and explored the lives of Legion members and the impact veterans and posts have on small communities. The project has been compiled into a 252 page hardcover book and gallery exhibition.
Karson’s photographs and hardcover book capture the faces and firsthand accounts of veterans through military experiences in both war-times and beyond. An example of true Americanism in a diminishing era of organized participation, Karson spent countless hours with the veterans as she was welcomed into the various communities she documented. As veteran population diminishes throughout the years, Karson’s accountability to showcase unique veteran experiences reminds the reader why service members are so highly regarded and valued in such small communities. Her photographic work captures the daily lives of these veterans and how the cherished military service of years past is still able to flow throughout the fabric of the present community.