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In Spring 2008, ten photographers including myself were commissioned by the Santa Barbara Arts Commission to document local workers for an exhibition, "The Essential Worker,” at the Channing Peake Gallery in Santa Barbara. The car wash workers, or washeros, I photographed for this project work at a rapid pace in water, grime, dust, and machinery inside and outside the automobiles. As a worker cleans out a car wash vacuum cleaner, he is captured making a graceful gesture. Uniforms and floor mats hanging out to dry touch my feeling of solitude. One way that I can appreciate a person's hard work is to realize their untold stories with photographs.

Please remember that these photographs are the property of Santa Barbara Photographer Kate Connell.