Alexia Foundation Photo of Today – Mark Murrmann

Having taken over the women’s bathroom at the Phoenix Theater, a Petaluma teen center, Tyson, Ian and another friend re-shave Tyson’s grown-out mohawk while Porno For Pyros blares from a battered boombox. Mark Murrmann/Alexia Foundation

The Alexia Foundation photo of today, Monday, is from Mark Murrmann’s 2004 student runner-up project, “Street Where Nobody Lives: Northern California’s Homeless Teens.”

Murrmann’s project revolved around a closed movie theatre in a small Northern California town that had been converted to a concert venue, tutoring center, health care clinic and skate park. There place had become central in the lives of many area youth, including the homeless ones.

As Murrmann noted, although homeless teens have been the focus of numerous documentary projects in large cities and abroad, they are often overlooked in small towns. Of course, the recent financial and mortgage crisis sent a wave of homeless teens into the streets all over the United States.

Of his time as an Alexia Grantee, Murrmann says in his about the photographer section, “The biggest way it influenced my career was getting to go to London to study abroad, and more specifically getting to work with Doc Mason from Syracuse. Going to London was great, of course, but more, Doc Mason really provided a grounded kind of photo instruction that I had missed, just in basic terms of pushing myself to do more.”

This year’s Alexia Foundation Student Grant offers full tuition to the winner and half tuition to the runner-up to attend the Syracuse University London Program.

Work from “Street Where Nobody Lives: Northern California’s Homeless Teens” will be included at the upcoming “Alexia: Images and Issues” exhibition in New York, Jan. 23.

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