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Southern Icons, A to Z and Slow Exposures Juried Art Show & Photography Festival

This week we want to introduce you to Slow Exposures juried art show and photography festival in Zebulon, GA, while also highlighting a featured show & artist talk during the festival titled, Southern Icons, A to Z.

***This annual event is taking place starting TOMORROW, Thursday September 15 through Sunday September 18, 2016. Check out the festival schedule on their website listed below!


Q: What is SlowExposures all about?

Fourteen years ago, the building boom was on. Our intention was to use photography to call attention to the incremental loss of our landscape and the historic buildings that told the story of this long-time cotton-growing region. With the help of an amazing array of photography folks from near and far SlowExposures has grown into a critically-acclaimed photography festival that attracts folks from across the United States.

The theme of the show is always “The Rural South”—the contemporary rural South. Every year, the images spark conversations, memories and debate about just what that means. Each year we invite two photography professionals to jury the show. One of the unique things about SlowE is where we hang the work—all of the exhibits, from the Main Exhibition to a dozen satellite shows, are in late-19th century buildings that once were the infrastructure of the vast cotton economy of the South.

Our parent organization is Pike Preservation and we donate our profits every year to benefit one or more of our historic buildings. The show is underwritten by entry fees, grants and the generous support of local businesses and friends of SlowExposures. We couldn’t do the show without the incredible volunteer force that engages in a 12 month planning cycle—they open their homes to guests, staff the galleries, provide world-class professional services, and welcome hundreds of visitors to Pike County every third weekend in September.


Founding Mother f stop members, Mandy Sue Glaser (Springer) and Steffanie Halley, first went to the quaint southern town of Zebulon to see fellow SCAD photography MFA graduate and friend, Joann Knox's work a number of years ago where their interest in the festival and photography show was piqued. Since then, Steffanie has been juried into the show for a number of years now. Below are her images that were selected for this year's show juried by David J. Carol and Eliot Dudik.

image © steffanie halley

All images © steffanie halley

image © steffanie halley



We area also excited to highlight one of the featured exhibitions and events during Slow Exposures, Southern Icons, A to Z, co-curated by another SCAD MFA photo friend and colleague of ours, Meryl Truett.

Artists' Statement: Southern Icons, A to Z

“Tell about the South. What's it like there. What do they do there. Why do they live there. Why do they live at all.” – William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom! (1936)

The amalgam of attitudes, beliefs, customs, politics, and geographies that we have come to understand as “Southern” has been a source of both pride and consternation since the nation’s earliest days. Writing to one of his French correspondents in 1785, Thomas Jefferson characterized (white) Southerners as “fiery, voluptuary, indolent, unsteady, . . . generous, candid, without attachments or pretensions to any religion but that of the heart”—a frank assessment, the bulk of which he intended as a compliment.

The great Southern writers—from Faulkner, Wright, and Hurston to O’Connor, Percy, and Dickey—have tried to translate the region’s peculiarities into meaningful symbols for natives and outsiders alike. At the same time, agents of popular culture have always made much of the region’s colorful extremities in the name of entertainment, reinforcing stereotypes that ignore subtleties and distort complexities. Even today, most of these images are rooted in a Moonlight-and-Magnolias-inflected mythology that bears only a cartoonish resemblance to reality.

This exhibition is intended to propose a visual catalogue of the contemporary South as it is being lived and experienced in the second decade of the twenty-first century. Twenty-six photographers were selected to contribute images corresponding to a list of “icons” of Southernness, with a goal of avoiding clichés in favor of presenting fresh insights into selected aspects of the region. Conceived in the form of an abecedary—used since medieval times to teach children language through association—the exhibition might be said to function as a primer to show in pictures what we talk about when we talk about the South today.

Photographs are accompanied by brief responsive statements by some of the region’s outstanding writers. The exhibition will feature a panel discussion by the three curators, Donna King Rosser, Meryl Truett, and Rob McDonald, at SlowExposures 2016. A comment wall will allow visitors to respond to individual images (or the entire exhibition) and to propose “icons” that should be considered for future exhibitions or publications of the project.


We for one (or three) are excited to see what the rest of the alphabet holds!

B is for Beauty Queens

image © Aaron Canipe

image © Aaron Canipe

“Our family has a sick relationship to Revlon,” my sister Anne exclaimed one day, surveying the makeup on my bathroom counter. And it’s true: I pride myself on doing whatever it takes to look as pretty as possible, an ideal that runs, deeply entrenched, in my maternal clan. This ideal was perfectly born out in our mother Melissa, a beautiful Southern woman – “the prettiest girl in Atlanta,” Anne and I heard over and over – who was also a talented writer who thought she didn’t have the right to be, and who ended her life by suicide. But in these girls, already fatigued by the burden of the need to be beautiful -- their desultory gazes, some with coltish legs ending in heels that don’t feel good -- I see the hints of a future rebellion, a strength that may help them become the strong women they are meant to be.

-- Rosemary Daniell

Image by Aaron Canipe

O is for Opossum

image © Keith Carter

Southern Nature Pop Quiz

This a photograph of:

A. Aardvark on a peanut tree

B. Matthew Brady's only known marsupial photo

C. The omnivore's dilemma

D. Dinner and dessert

E. Didelphia virginiana dreams of

Diospyros virginiana

-- John Lane

Image by Keith Carter

R is for Roadside

image © Meryl Truett

Image © Meryl Truett

Meryl Truett's ROADSIDE

I believe it's a flamingo, but I think of our remaining live chicken here at home and remember the joy they've all brought me in the last few years—watching them do chicken things.

The Madonna brings the word "religion" to mind. So I'm kind of contemplating two interesting subjects:

Chickens and Religion.

The Madonna, though, without child (I saw the fish, and flag, and I'm assuming flamingo and Madonna), reminds me of the story of the elderly woman walking down out of the mountains at Christmas and seeing a nativity scene and saying, "She had only the one, didn't she?"

Of course brothers are reported in scripture, but did Jesus maybe have a sister? An older sister? And the two of them perhaps once talked how much they liked watching chickens and how hard it was when one died.

And Mary overheard them.

Clyde Edgerton

Image by Meryl Truett

Madonna and Flamingo

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