These images are from Once Upon A Playground, a series centered on vintage playground equipment that is quickly disappearing from the American landscape. The equipment that generations of Americans grew up with – from towering metal slides installed in the 1940s to giant rocket ships erected in the 1970s – becomes more scarce each year as communities across the country renovate their parks and school yards. Because these vanishing artifacts of childhood represent a tangible piece of our country’s cultural heritage, I spent seven years documenting remaining structures in their original environment throughout the country. In an era when more and more children spend their free time indoors in front of electronic devices, I wanted to capture the essence of what childhood play looked like in past decades, and bring attention to the dwindling number of these beloved childhood icons.
Brenda Biondo is a Colorado photographer whose work focuses on three distinct areas: constructed abstractions, conservation and land-based issues, and the way cultural artifacts move from past to present. Brenda’s work has been exhibited in shows throughout the country and published in numerous print and online publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Denver Post and Lenscratch. Her photographs are in the collections of the Library of Congress, the Museum of Photographic Arts and numerous corporations and private collectors. A solo exhibit of her work opened at the San Diego Museum of Art in July 2017. Her book of photographs, Once Upon a Playground, was published by the University Press of New England in 2014 and is now the subject of a five-year traveling exhibit organized by ExhibitsUSA. The daughter of a commercial photographer, Brenda grew up surrounded by photography and has been making photographs for more than 30 years. A native New Yorker, she’s been a resident of Colorado since 1999 and currently lives in a small town near Pikes Peak, where the light and landscape continue to inspire her work.