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  • ALA STATE COUNCIL ON THE ARTS FELLOWSHIP AWARD

    Twenty years ago, near to the day, mom and I drove down to the state capitol in Montgomery where I was awarded an Alabama State Council on the Arts scholarship. A few of my photographs were exhibited (one of my very first art shows), there was a luncheon, and a lot of fanfare. It was a great – and formative – day. With that ASCA scholarship I pursued a degree in art that helped make my dreams of becoming a documentary photographer come true, and four short years later I began a career that has since taken me from war zones to National Geographic, and from the Oval Office back home to Alabama.

    Today has been another great day, with news that I have been awarded an Alabama State Council on the Arts Fellowship Grant. I’m profoundly encouraged by ASCA's significant support – particularly as I near completion of a body of work on methamphetamine use on Sand Mountain – and I am especially grateful for the platform from which I may more broadly challenge the existing stereotypes attendant with poverty and addiction in my home state. 

    An exhibition of the Sand Mountain work will be scheduled for Montgomery next year; award citations and the full cohort of 2017-18 fellows can be seen here: http://arts.alabama.gov/news_detail.aspx?ID=12300

  • 2017 RED CLAY SURVEY: HUNTSVILLE MUSEUM OF ART

    2017 RED CLAY SURVEY: HUNTSVILLE MUSEUM OF ART

    July 9 – September 24, 2017; Preview Party Saturday, July 8, 2017 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

    The Red Clay Survey “takes the pulse” of contemporary Southern art through a selection of works in all styles and media determined by a nationally recognized juror. The works in The Red Clay Survey typically range in style from the traditional to the avant-garde and encompass painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, fine craft, photography and mixed media works. These works reflect the multifaceted state of today’s art. 80 works were selected by juror Gerry Bergstein from more than 1500 entries from artists across an 11-state region.

    Selected for the exhibition is a piece from my current collaborative GUSDUGGER project with Cary Norton. Through spring of 2017 Cary and I have driven across North Central Alabama, photographing historic sites with the wet-plate collodion tintype process. 

    Image: Jared Ragland + Cary Norton, Untitled, 2017; archival pigment print from wet-plate collodion tintype; 40x50"

  • EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT AT CANDELA

    EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT AT CANDELA

    EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT will be exhibited at CANDELA BOOKS + GALLERY May 4–June 24 in Richmond, Va. A preview reception and artist talk is scheduled for Thursday, May 4, 5-8pm, with a public opening Friday, May 5, 5-9pm. EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT is a meditation on the themes from Walker Percy’s 1962 novel, The Moviegoer, and will be presented as a site-specific print installation. For more see recent interviews with Strant Magazine and FotoRoom

  • 'GOOD BAD PEOPLE' ON SPRINGER NATURE'S 'BEFORE THE ABSTRACT' PODCAST

    'GOOD BAD PEOPLE' ON SPRINGER NATURE'S 'BEFORE THE ABSTRACT' PODCAST

    Wishing to show the humanity and complexity of the lives of people who turn to drugs and crime, criminologist Heith Copes embarks on a photo ethnography of methamphetamine use in rural Alabama. But what begins as a research project quickly becomes a life-altering lesson in the truth behind stereotypes, the importance of empathy, and the unparalleled power of human connection.

    Listen to Heith recount his time spent on Sand Mountain and meet the individuals from his story, captured in the emotional photo series GOOD BAD PEOPLE: Methamphetamine Use on Sand Mountain by Jared Ragland.

    http://www.beforetheabstract.com/2017/03/01/caught-being-stupid/

  • CONTEMPORARY ALABAMA PHOTOGRAPHY: MOBILE MUSEUM OF ART, MARCH 10-AUG. 27

    CONTEMPORARY ALABAMA PHOTOGRAPHY: MOBILE MUSEUM OF ART, MARCH 10-AUG. 27

    Curated by Richard McCabe

    On the eve of the Alabama’s Bicentennial celebration of statehood, Contemporary Alabama Photography explores how our understanding of Alabama identity, culture, and history have been interpreted and formed through the photographic arts today. This exhibition was conceptualized and organized to compliment Mobile Museum of Art’s CHRISTENBERRY: In AlabamaContemporary Alabama Photography looks to the current trajectory of photography being practiced throughout Alabama, and highlights the work of eleven emerging, mid-career, and established photographers:

    April Dobbins
    Jenny Fine
    Zachary McCauley
    Jerry Siegel
    Chuck Hemard
    Patrick Owens
    Michael Meads
    Marion “Pinky” Bass
    Devin Lunsford
    Celestia Morgan
    Jared Ragland

    There is an instinctive rapport between these photographers and William Christenberry. All draw similar inspiration from the history of photography and their own Alabama history. These contemporary Alabama photographers build upon the historical art context established by Christenberry, and expand the visual narrative of Alabama into new directions of subject matter, content, and process. As the technology of photography constantly changes, the Southern tradition of storytelling remains central. Their work, while based in reality, transcends the real into an idealized mythic romanticism of a troubled/beautiful/complex place. This is photography made by artists with an innate and esoteric understanding of the region.

  • PARADISE ROAD / PARADISE OUT-FRONT OPENS JAN. 27 AT THE SOUTHERN

    PARADISE ROAD / PARADISE OUT-FRONT OPENS JAN. 27 AT THE SOUTHERN

    “In American culture, the belief persists that through one's own efforts, a personal paradise is achievable. But what does that paradise look like? Does it really exist?” 

    On the heels of the upcoming presidential inauguration, Eliot Dudik's new series Paradise Road debuts at The Southern in a two-part exhibition Paradise Road Paradise Out-Front

    The exhibition opens Friday, January 27, 2017 with a reception: 7-10pm and runs through February 26 in Charleston, SC.

    Paradise Road | Paradise Out-Front 

    There are roughly 196 Paradise Roads in the continental United States; Eliot Dudik has photographed over 90 to date. In describing his motivation for the project, Dudik expressed he wanted to “drive to paradise and see what was there,” seeing this project as a means to “take the temperature of the country.” After all, what better way to understand the state of America than by surveying its paradises? 

    Paradise Road | Paradise Out-Front 

    For Paradise Out-Front Dudik curated a group of thirteen photographers tasked to respond with their own ideas of ‘paradise.’ This second part of the overall exhibition will feature unorthodox and personal photographic works from Ben AlperIan van CollerMark DorfMatt EichFrances JakubekThalassa RaaschJared RaglandJustin James ReedAnastasia SamoylovaBryan SchutmaatAline SmithsonKatherine Squier, and Susan Worsham

    Visit www.thesouthern.gallery/paradise-road for full artist biographies and info. 

    Gallery hours: Wednesday-Sunday 12-6pm. 

    Image: Jared Ragland, selections from the series eequivalentss 2015-2016.

    **Update: American Photo names Paradise Road | Paradise Out-Front one of the best photography exhibitions of Winter 2017.

     

  • ZACH NADER: FLY-BACK OPENS AT UAB'S AEIVA JAN. 20, 2017

    ZACH NADER: FLY-BACK OPENS AT UAB'S AEIVA JAN. 20, 2017

    ZACH NADER: fly-back

    January 20 - March 18, 2017
    PUBLIC OPENING RECEPTION, Friday, January 20, 6-8 pm 

    Curated by Jared Ragland and John Fields

    Zach Nader’s richly patterned, colorful digital works engage in ideas of multiplicity, repetition, and simultaneity. By breaking down the ubiquitous images found in advertising, fashion, and commerce through a series of automated software techniques and digitally manipulated actions, Nader creates a unique visual language that, through acts of erasure, camouflage, and obfuscation, deconstructs familiar source images to render new, nuanced works from digital interference and visual artifacts. 

    Nader’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including a month-long nightly video installation on 23 advertisement billboards as part of Midnight Moment, New York’s Times Square. His work has also been shown at Centre Pompidou Paris, France; Haus der elektronischen Künste, Basel, Switzerland; Eyebeam, New York, NY; College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, among others. Nader completed an Art & Science Residency at The Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation in Brooklyn, NY and has been a featured speaker at ICP-Bard, New York, NY and Bard at Simon Rock, Great Barrington, MA and others. Zach Nader is represented by Microscope Gallery in New York. 

    Read the press release HERE.

    Image: Zach Nader, 283267079 (endless waves), 2015; Inkjet print; 30 inches x 20 inches; courtesy of Microscope Gallery

  • JANUARY 20, 2017

    JANUARY 20, 2017

    Three years ago, almost to the day, I left the White House for a new life back home in Alabama. As he does with all departing staffers, the President invited me into the Oval Office for a few moments to say goodbye and have a photo made. He was gracious with his time and asked me about my plans to return home, and we discussed my upcoming creative projects and our mutual love of Walker Percy’s writing.

    Through editing countless photographs made by White House photographers Pete Souza, Chuck Kennedy, and Lawrence Jackson, I was witness to the President's daily life and able to see and sift a moment-by-moment record of his official public duties and his private moments. And now as many of the photographs I helped edit and share with the world are being reviewed again in these final days and hours of his presidency, I too have had the chance to reflect on these last few years and consider who I was three years ago and who I've become since. Some of the goals I shared with the President that day in the Oval Office have been met, others exceeded, some not nearly reached. In the last three years I've experienced great joy and unexpected success as well as deep disappointment and unimaginable loss. 

    In my life, and now in the life of our Nation, the idea of Hope is at risk of being eclipsed by Fear. But I hold on to the prospect that through whatever comes next - victory or failure, happiness or heartbreak - I, and my fellow citizens, may be able to face it with the same kind of deep conviction, humor, intelligence, class and integrity that I saw exercised each day by President Obama as he wielded a profound power with an even more profound sense of kindness, grace, and humility. 

    Three years ago I was able to thank the president for the opportunity to help document his and his family's life. If given the chance to do it again today, I would thank him for leading our Nation as a great president and exemplifying what it is to be a great man.

    #ThanksObama

    *Official White House photo by Pete Souza.