The millennium became a time when John E. Dowell, Jr started to seriously explore Photography as a primary medium of expression. As a master printmaker and the second overall (first African American) to be certified as such by the prestigious Tamarind Lithography Institute in the early years of its founding, Dowell was a stickler for detail and precision. This obsession with mastering his craft had extended to photography, which he began incorporating into the artwork toward the end of his immersion into the Voodoo religion. He favored a large format digital camera and for many years explored architecture and the varying effects of light, angle, perspective and reflection-- images and colors. In his large-scale photos, he captured the energy of cities and the rural landscapes of America. He specialized on the surface of structures, the reflections of their exterior and, subtly, their internal spaces, operating mainly from sunset till dawn. The art of this period gives consciousness to a single moment by illuminating the unseen. Perhaps it was this sense of the significance of place and what it tells about history led him to his next thematic series, Cotton, its legacy with slavery and racial injustice, his family and ancestral roots. The collection only contains one image, the 2020 lithograph. “The Monument,” which serves to memorialize the importance of cotton to American history and industrial success, being the key to slavery and the system of oppression that made the young nation prosperous, even though it demonstrated hypocrisy and a disconnect with its own rights of man decree.