Jay Fleming is a local photographer who has turned his attention towards the Chesapeake Bay. Jay spent three years documenting all aspects of the Bay’s rapidly changing seafood industry for his first book, Working the Water, released in the fall of 2016. From underwater photographs of Blue Crabs swimming in lush beds of underwater grasses to incredibly poignant portraits of laborers working in a oyster shucking house, to portraits of workboats leaving the dock before sunrise, Jay illustrated the full spectrum of the Chesapeake Bay’s fisheries in Working the Water. 

Jay’s documentation of the iconic seafood industry proved to be an incredibly powerful educational tool in raising awareness for the people and the processes involved with bringing commonly consumed seafood products to market. In the fall of 2017, amidst other photography and video projects, Jay committed to his second book, Island Life. After 10 years of making trips to Smith and Tangier Islands - the only two inhabited offshore islands in the Chesapeake Bay - Jay developed an affinity for the environment and the island communities. Island Life will explore the environment and the seasonal Chesapeake harvests that provide the rhythm for community life, while documenting the tenacity and determination of the Smith and Tangier islanders who honor their traditions while facing an uncertain future. Island Life is expected to be released in October of 2021. 

Whether it’s a dramatic sunrise over the water or a fishermen hauling gear, the passion for his craft and for visual storytelling is obvious in every photograph. Jay’s talent is undeniable, his photography is not only beautiful but purposeful

About Our In-House Artists

Our In-House artists are part of a new visual arts initiative at Maryland Hall act as a source both for internal creative support as well as a hub for our educational outreach and community engagement programming. In-house artists will serve to support staff with creative projects involving photography, design, marketing, and promotion while also utilizing their studios to grow in their profession as artists and create work. They will be educators to local students, engage with community members, and participate in special events hosted by Maryland Hall.

Jay Fleming

In-House Artist