• Where You Come From is Gone, Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, February 20-May 16, 2021
  • Fresh Squeezed 4, Morean Arts Center, March 14-June 1, 2020
  • Where You Come From is Gone, Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art, February 27-March 26, 2020
  • Snapshot: Willow, 37, published in Southern Cultures Vol. 26, No. 1
  • Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology, published by Emerald Press
  • Ethically Representing Drug Use, published by Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice & Criminology

See recent features in: Forbes, TIME, Oxford American, FotoRoom, Saint-Lucy, Before the Abstract, and The Heavy Collective.  



2020 Wort im Bild (Words in Images) winners presented at Lendhafen, Klagenfurt, Austria

Untitled diptych from the series, Everything Is Going To Be All Right

A diptych from the series Everything Is Going To Be All Right has been awarded third place in the 2020 Wort im Bild (Words in Images) Award. Selected by jurors Chloe Hipeau-Disko, Gabriele Rothemann, and Wort im Bild founder Eva Asaad from nearly 1,000 entries from 88 countries, the annual award celebrates photographic works inspired by literature. Winning selections were shared as part of a public viewing at Lendhafen in Klagenfurt, Austria.



Tierra Verde, Pinellas County, Fla, 2020, from the series, Where You Come From is Gone

Where You Come From is Gone has been selected by Getty Museum associate curator Paul Martineau as a finalist for the New Orleans Photo Alliance’s annual Clarence John Laughlin Award.



Download the PDF of the letter here: Aint Bad Open Letter.PDF

May 12, 2020

An Open Letter to AINT-BAD

Aint-Bad: Artists are called to engage the world sensitively, compassionately, and critically as a means to bring individuals and communities together for principled conversation and meaningful change. As the selected photographers for Aint-Bad #15 The American South, we also have a responsibility to own–and speak directly to–our white privilege while expecting the same from others. On these grounds, we neither support nor condone Aint-Bad’s jurying process; further, we reject Aint-Bad’s subsequent statements as false and misleading.  

We are grateful to those who first brought these errors to light and have taken a stand against the publisher’s inappropriate practices.

In our collective discussion following Aint-Bad’s announcement of selected artists, we learned several photographers were either directly invited or encouraged to participate in the publication. This disclosure reveals Aint-Bad’s editors intentionally misled their readers with false claims that the jurying process was conducted blindly.

Joining with the many excluded voices, we convey our emphatic denunciation of and deep disappointment in this process. For our part, we want to use this experience as an opportunity to listen and engage and challenge power structures that perpetuate disenfranchisement and marginalization.  

By excluding the racially diverse voices integral to the complex character of the South, Aint-Bad’s editors have perpetuated the divisiveness and injustice our country continues to experience. Their insensitive actions do not reflect the integrity, ethics, and values upon which we have each built our careers and artistic practices.

Aint-Bad’s initial public response to criticism and their subsequent suspension of The American South issue is insufficient against the gravity of these circumstances, and their disregard for equity is not just irresponsible, it is wholly inexcusable. We must all thoroughly and continually examine our complicity–tacit or otherwise–in the systemic racism that allows these wrongs to occur.

As a photographic community we need to be better. We can be better. And together we can hold Aint-Bad accountable.

It is our sincere hope that transformational learning and progress may be redeemed from this terrible situation, and that the actions in the days and weeks to come may have a profound, positive impact on everyone in our photo community during this critical time.  

Aint-Bad #15 The American South Selected Artists:
Rosie Brock
Julianne Clark
Due South Co-op
Matt Eich
Jill Frank
Robert Gordon
Amanda Greene
Virginia Hanusik
Matthew Jessie
Ashley Kaye
Cassandra Klos
Gabriel McCurdy
Evan Perkins
Jared Ragland
Shane Rocheleau  
Whitten Sabbatini
Susan Worsham

UPDATE: for more more on this story see Selections for Aint-Bad's Southern Issue Raise Questions About Racial Exclusion on Burnaway or use #aintbadopenletter on Instagram.



I’ve been collaging while quarantined – nearly 100 COVID Drawings so far. Made from a stack of vintage National Geographic magazines, the works subtly refer to themes of isolation, distance, disconnection, interior/exterior space, and illness.

View a selection here on the website, or follow along via Instagram.



Southern Cultures Vol. 26, No. 1: The Documentary Moment, is now available.  Guest edited by Tom Rankin, the issue looks at the documentary moment, using the idea of “moment” to refer to both the decisive instant of documentary image making and the sense of urgency we often feel to document a very present experience of political and social friction in the American South. Featuring a short piece and photograph from Good Bad People, the journal also includes pieces by Natasha Trethewey and good friends/colleagues Lisa McCarty, Eliot Dudik, Aaron Canipe, Jeremy Lange, and more.

The article, Snapshot: Willow, 37, can be previewed here, and scholars and students can access the entire journal via Project Muse.



Untitled (Spring Bayou), from the series SNOWBIRD

Works from my recent project SNOWBIRD will be on view at the Morean Arts Center for the annual Fresh Squeezed exhibition. Now in its fourth year, the exhibition was curated by Amanda Cooper and features emergent artists from across the state of Florida including Nicholas Kalemba of Orlando; Cindy Leung of Gainesville; Krystle Lemonias of Tampa; Luca Molnar of Deland; Jared Ragland of Tarpon Springs; and Chelsea Rowe of St. Petersburg.  The show runs March 14-April 23 in St. Petersburg.

SNOWBIRD is a project begun shortly after my recent move to Tarpon Springs, Florida. Consisting of photographs made during daily walks and bike rides around town alongside a collection of historical images, objects, and ephemera, the work situates the idyllic and quotidian, the strange and the sentimental, and serves as a means of orienting myself within a unique community steeped in a complex mix of culture and history, contradiction and change.  


03.12.20 // eequivalentss AT PAPERWORKERS LOCAL 

Selection from the series eequivalentss

A selection of images from eequivalentss is included in Phoned In, a group show featuring images made with smart phones. The show opens March 12-April 25 at PaperWorkers Local in Birmingham, AL. Participating artists are John DeMotte, Lee Dunnie, Phil Proctor, Jared Ragland, and Joel Whitaker.

About eequivalentss:
As an homage to Alfred Stieglitz, the father of modern photography and creator of the renowned series of cloud pictures he first titled Songs of the Sky and later came to call Equivalents, I created a project-specific Instagram account in which I photographed and posted a picture of the sky nearly every day for an entire year.

Just as Steiglitz’s cloud pictures were imbued with a symbolist aesthetic, and over time became increasingly abstract equivalents of his own experiences, thoughts, and emotions, so too did my pictures assume symbolic weight and personal meaning as the year passed. Shortly after beginning the project on the Spring 2015 Equinox, my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and the act of making these images quickly took on a kind of liturgical significance. Each picture became a brief meditation, a prayer, for mom as I marked the passage of another day and considered the nuances of light, space, form and texture overhead. The series includes images made on the day she was diagnosed and the days we spent together at home and in the hospital. They mark the day she died, the day she was buried, and the difficult days that followed.

The entire series can be seen at



Hollowed Cedar (Willstown), DeKalb County, Ala., from the series, Where You Come From is Gone

Where You Come From is Gone has been selected as one of seven portfolio winners in Urbanautica’s latest international call, Sacred: The Experience of Beyond. 



Garrett Cemetary, Cherokee County, Ala., from the series, Where You Come From is Gone

Where You Come From is Gone
will open February 26 at the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art at Piedmont College in Demorest, GA.  The show will run through March 27 and features 9 large scale works.  Programming will include an artist talk scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 26 at 11am and an opening reception at 5pm at the museum.



White House Photo by Pete Souza

I will present a paper for the session, The Presidential Look: Art and POTUS/FLOTUS, at the CAA 2020 Annual Conference in Chicago, Feb. 13. The session is scheduled for 8:30am at 
Hilton Chicago - 8th Floor - Lake Huron.

Abstract: Front Row Seat: An Inside Look at the White House Photo Office and the History of Presidential Photography
As a White House Photo Editor, I had a front row seat to history. From photographs of President George W. Bush standing atop the rubble of the World Trade Center to images of President Barack Obama monitoring the raid on Osama Bin Laden, I have touched consequential pictures and witnessed firsthand the power of Presidential photographs to document and shape not only the national conversation but also global culture and politics. The documentation of the Presidency has evolved in step with the medium of photography, moving from Matthew Brady’s studio portraits of Lincoln to the creation and worldwide dissemination of former Chief White House Photographer Pete Souza’s 1.9 million digital images during the Obama administration. By tracing the lineage of Brady’s first portraits of Lincoln at the Cooper Union to Souza’s images of Obama in Situation Room, this paper will combine anecdotal accounts, historical research, and critical analysis to survey Presidential photography.  Specific case studies and personal accounts drawn from the Bush 43 and Obama administrations will be used to consider the role of the Presidential photograph from multiple perspectives – as both archival document and political propaganda – while examining the profound means by which White House photographs influence the “Presidential Look.”



SOME MILLION MILES is an official selection of the 2020 George Lindsey UNA Film Festival.  The film will screen March 5 at 3pm at the University of North Alabama in Florence, Ala.  I am really pleased to share the documentary with audiences so close to where it was filmed on Sand Mountain.

The festival was founded by celebrated entertainer George Lindsey, an Alabama native, who is most widely known for his role as Goober Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show.

“Judy Judy Judy!”



A new article, "The Emotional Labor of Doing Fieldwork with People Who Use Methamphetamine” by my collaborator Heith Copes, Ph.D. and featuring images from GOOD BAD PEOPLE, is featured in a new book, Inside Ethnography: Researchers Reflect on the Challenges of Reaching Hidden Populations, edited by Miriam Boeri and Rashi Shukla.

From the dust jacket: While some books present “ideal” ethnographic field methods, Inside Ethnography shares the realities of fieldwork in action. With a focus on strategies employed with populations at society’s margins, twenty-one contemporary ethnographers examine their cutting-edge work with honesty and introspection, drawing readers into the field to reveal the challenges they have faced. Representing disciplinary approaches from criminology, sociology, anthropology, public health, business, and social work, and designed explicitly for courses on ethnographic and qualitative methods, crime, deviance, drugs, and urban sociology, the authors portray an evolving methodology that adapts to the conditions of the field while tackling emerging controversies with perceptive sensitivity. Their judicious advice on how to avoid pitfalls and remedy missteps provides unusual insights for practitioners, academics, and undergraduate and graduate students.

The book is now available here on Amazon in hardcover and paperback editions.



SOME MILLION MILES, courtesy PBS’ Reel South online.

(dir. Jared Ragland and Adam Forrester, 2019, 12 min.) is now available to view on PBS’ Reel South program, via the PBS website and app. 

About Reel South: In the cherished tradition of Southern storytelling, Reel South reveals the South's proud yet complicated heritage, as told by a diversity of voices and perspectives. Hosted by Valerie June, Reel South is a cooperative documentary series between the South’s PBS-member stations: UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina, South Carolina ETV, Alabama Public Television, Arkansas’ AETN, Georgia Public Broadcasting, and Louisiana Public Broadcasting.

About SOME MILLION MILES: Atop Sand Mountain, a sandstone plateau in northeast Alabama infamous for poultry processing, Pentecostal snake-handling, and meth production, we meet Chico, Alice, and Misty, whose lives have been shaped by methamphetamine use. Chico struggles with reintegration into society following a jail sentence; Alice pursues recovery and fights for custody of her daughter; and Misty rebuilds a stable life after ending an abusive relationship. Set within a rural landscape of abundant beauty and deep poverty, SOME MILLION MILES presents a meditation on loss and the search for redemption amidst systemic social and economic marginalization. The film is produced with generous support from the Indie Grits Rural Project Grant.



Packing my Mac dongles, Cliff bars, and PowerPoints this week as I will be presenting at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference in New Orleans, Nov. 8, and the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting in San Francisco Nov. 12.

The NCHC is a unique educational organization designed to support and promote undergraduate honors education.  This year’s conference theme is “disrupting education,” and Dr. Alan Bush I will lead a panel titled, Igniting Student Creativity through Community-Engaged Practice. The session illustrates, through examples, how project-based service-learning classes ignite students’ creativity by providing challenges that require out-of-the-box thinking and interdisciplinary problem solving. Through such courses, students see the application and value of their imaginative efforts as innovative ideas are brought to life and implemented as change-agents in the community.

At ASC my collaborator, Criminologist Heith Copes, Ph.D., and I will lead a pre-conference workshop, Visual Methods in Criminology and Criminal Justice. The workshop will focus on the use of photographs as tools to collect data and to represent participants’ lives in criminology and criminal justice research. Specifically, it will focus on how to carry out research using photo-elicitation and photovoice techniques. The workshop will discuss benefits and challenges of using visual methods with vulnerable individuals, by considering topics such as representation, empowerment, and emotionality. Additionally, it will highlight practical and ethical issues confronting researchers who incorporate visual methods into their research.



The Stories in Images: The Value of the Visual forNarrative Criminology, co-authored with Heith Copes and Andy Hochstetler, has been included in a new criminology text, The Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology. Published by the scholarly press Emerald in the UK and edited by Jennifer Fleetwood, Lois Presser, Sveinung Sandberg, and Thomas Ugelvik, the text reflects the diversity of methodological approaches employed in the emerging field of narrative criminology.



Omussee Creek Mound, Houston County, Ala., from the series Where You Come From is Gone

To mark the occasion and contribute to the national conversation on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Cary Norton and I guested on the Wiregrass Museum of Art’s #wmaINSPIRED blog to share photographs from our ongoing project, Where You Come From is Gone, that were made during an April artist residency at the WMA. The residency was organized as part of WMA’s three-year-long schedule of exhibitions and programs in celebration of Alabama’s bicentennial, officially observed in 2019 with the theme “Sharing Our Stories.”

See the blog post and new images here.

Cary and I are grateful to the Wiregrass Museum of Art, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and the Alabama Bicentennial Commission for the generous support of our work, especially during this important time in our state and national history.



A new article, “Ethically Representing Drug Use: Photographs and Ethnographic Research with People Who Use Methamphetamine,” co-authored with Dr. Heith Copes and Whitney Tchoula, has been published in the Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice & Criminology, Vol. 8, #1.  

Abstract: The use of photographs in criminological research can be an important tool for both collecting data and illustrating findings. When used in published research, photographs can aid in viewers connecting with the subject matter and the participants. However, photographs can also reify and reinforce cultural stereotypes. We believe that the potential damage done by including photographs can be mitigated when the photographs are properly contextualized. Our aim here is to argue for the value of contextualized photographs in research with those who engage in crime or deviance. We illustrate how by including the stories of participants and ourselves we can complicate cultural narratives and act as counter-visuals for stigmatized images found in the media.

The article can be found here.



SOME MILLION MILES will be an official selection at tenth annual DOC NYC film festival in New York.  The film will screen during the Shorts: Ways of Seeing program, Wednesday, November 13, 5pm at Cinepolis Chelsea.  

DOC NYC is America’s largest documentary film festival and voted by MovieMaker magazine as one of the “top five coolest documentary film festivals in the world.”  Based at the West Village’s IFC Center, Chelsea’s SVA Theater and Bow Tie Chelsea Cinema, the eight-day festival showcases new achievements in documentary film along with panels and conversations.

About SOME MILLION MILES: Atop Sand Mountain, a sandstone plateau in northeast Alabama infamous for poultry processing, Pentecostal snake-handling, and meth production, we meet Chico, Alice, and Misty, whose lives have been shaped by methamphetamine use. Chico struggles with reintegration into society following a jail sentence; Alice pursues recovery and fights for custody of her daughter; and Misty rebuilds a stable life after ending an abusive relationship. Set within a rural landscape of abundant beauty and deep poverty, SOME MILLION MILES presents a meditation on loss and the search for redemption amidst systemic social and economic marginalization. The film is co-directed with Adam Forrester and produced with generous support from the Indie Grits Rural Project Grant.



Where You Come From is Gone will open September 30 at the University of Central Missouri Gallery of Art & Design in Warrensburg, MO.  The show will run through November 2 and features 13 large scale works and a video piece.  Programming will include an artist talk scheduled for October 30 at 4pm, followed by a closing reception in the gallery. 



Several images from Where the Train Goes Slow will be published in the upcoming AND– Then There Was Us Annual 2019.  Published by Public Source in Manchester, UK, the book is available for pre-order and will be released October 5. 

FROM THE PUBLISHER: AND is an annual selection of some of the best up and coming influential documentary and portrait photographers from across the globe, showcasing in this heterogeneous collection of poignant and inspiring imagery, a response to a shifting culture and change to the way photography is produced, shared and consumed. This is Then There Was Us Magazine’s ones to watch of 2019. This year we have selected 58 photographers from across the world to be part of our first AND annual.



SOME MILLION MILES - Official Trailer on Vimeo.

SOME MILLION MILES (dir. Jared Ragland and Adam Forrester, 2019) received the 2019 REEL SOUTH Short Award at the 21st annual Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham.  The award includes distribution on the REEL SOUTH website and app, release date forthcoming.

In the cherished tradition of Southern storytelling, REEL SOUTH reveals the South's proud yet complicated heritage, as told by a diversity of voices and perspectives. Hosted by Valerie June, REEL SOUTH is a cooperative documentary series between the South’s PBS-member stations: UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina, South Carolina ETV, Alabama Public Television, Arkansas’ AETN, Georgia Public Broadcasting, and Louisiana Public Broadcasting.



Film still from the short documentary film, SOME MILLION MILES, 2019, dir. Adam Forrester & Jared Ragland

SOME MILLION MILES will receive its Alabama premiere at the 21st annual Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham.  The film will screen during the Alabama Documentary Shorts: Profiles program, Saturday, August 24, 3:15pm at ASFA.  Additional festival screenings will be announced through the fall.

About SOME MILLION MILES: Atop Sand Mountain, a sandstone plateau in northeast Alabama infamous for poultry processing, Pentecostal snake-handling, and meth production, we meet Chico, Alice, and Misty, whose lives have been shaped by methamphetamine use. Chico struggles with reintegration into society following a jail sentence; Alice pursues recovery and fights for custody of her daughter; and Misty rebuilds a stable life after ending an abusive relationship. Set within a rural landscape of abundant beauty and deep poverty, SOME MILLION MILES presents a meditation on loss and the search for redemption amidst systemic social and economic marginalization. The film is co-directed with Adam Forrester and produced with generous support from the Indie Grits Rural Project Grant.



I am excited to announce a recent appointment to the University of South Florida's Judy Genshaft Honors College where I will serve as Visiting Distinguished Professor-in-Residence. The professorship is offered biannually and invites scholars, artists, scientists, or public intellectuals to teach an interdisciplinary course, collaborate with faculty, mentor students, and engage in collegial activity across the USF community. The state of Florida is often found at the focus of our national debate, and I am excited to teach a community-engaged social documentary photo course that will examine advocacy-based photo reportage, social practice methods, and creative citizenship in the Tampa Bay area.



Five Points, Wilson, NC, from the series Where the Train Goes Slow

Last summer I participated in the inaugural Eyes On Main Street residency program in Wilson, North Carolina. Images from my month in Wilson, gathered in a new portfolio titled WHERE THE TRAIN GOES SLOW, are currently on view through August 4 at the EOMS Residency Gallery, while an image from GOOD BAD PEOPLE is also included in the EOMS festival's six-block-long outdoor exhibition featuring 100 large-scale photographs by 100 prominent and emerging photographers from over 40 countries. Both the outdoor exhibition and sample works by the 2018 residency cohort can be seen on the Eyes on Main Street site.

Works from WHERE THE TRAIN GOES SLOW were recently selected by Then There Was Us and featured in their inaugural open call exhibition at Public-Source in Manchester, UK.



Michael, age 8, from the series Good Bad People

The above image from GOOD BAD PEOPLE was shortlisted for the 2019 Palm* Photo Prize and recently featured in Hero Mag's ZOOM IN: The next big photographers: peek this year’s Palm* Photo Prize finalists. One hundred images were selected from more than 3,800 entries for the second annual Palm* Photo Prize exhibition, which runs May 14-17 at theprintspace gallery in London. 



Cherokee Rock Village, Cherokee County, Alabama, from the series Where You Come From is Gone, 2017

DOTHAN, Alabama - April 4, 2019 - The Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA) is pleased to announce that Birmingham, Alabama-based photographers Cary Norton and Jared Ragland, collectively known as GUSDUGGER, will be in residence at WMA April 18- 20. The residency, a regional extension of Norton and Ragland's project "Where You Come From is Gone," will document sacred Native American sites in the Wiregrass region using the 19th-century, wet-plate collodion tintype process with vintage, large-format cameras, hand-crafted chemistry and a mobile darkroom. The residency has been organized as part of WMA's three-year-long schedule of exhibitions and programs in celebration of Alabama's bicentennial, officially observed in 2019 with the theme "Sharing Our Stories."

"WMA is working this year to showcase the stories that make the Wiregrass special, and I am thrilled to offer a residency to such unique artists and storytellers. Their use of traditional photography methods to capture the current conditions of historic sites was a compelling reason to partner with them for Alabama's bicentennial. This is also an opportunity for the Wiregrass to be represented in a statewide project that highlights the lost stories of our region," said Dana-Marie Lemmer, director and curator of the Wiregrass Museum of Art.

Created in 2016, "Where You Come From is Gone" explores the importance of place, the passage of time, and the political dimensions of remembrance through the wet-plate collodion photographic process. Norton and Ragland's images seek to make known a history that has largely been eliminated and to make visible the erasure that occurred in the American South between Hernando DeSoto's first exploration of native peoples in the 16th century and Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act 300 years later.

Using a 100-year-old field camera and a custom, portable darkroom tailored to Ragland's 4x4 truck, the two photographers have journeyed more than 2,000 miles across 20 Alabama counties to locate, visit, and photograph indigenous sites.

"Our work with tintypes began simply as an experiment to learn the process, but I'm always looking for a way to engage in critical, social, and political issues pertinent to where I live," said Jared Ragland.

"As Cary and I began by making portraits of local artists and creatives, we also shared a desire to move out into the landscape and see the state. As we journeyed into the Alabama landscape, our attention was drawn to native place names - such as Cahaba, Talladega, Coosa - names that were of course immediately familiar, but for which we had no real deep historical knowledge or contexts. So by making these images, we built a way to learn about a history that's not told in most schoolbooks or on roadside historic markers," said Ragland.

Norton and Ragland's residency at WMA has been made possible by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission.

"The bicentennial is an occasion to look back at our history, and 'Where You Come From Is Gone' does that in an especially beautiful and evocative way. The images provoke the viewer to think about the passage of time and its effect on a place, and the fact that in many ways the history in these places has been erased makes the works even more moving. We think these pieces will inspire viewers to be more curious about the history of place both visible and invisible," said Jay Lamar, executive director of the Alabama Bicentennial Commission.

The Wiregrass Museum of Art has received generous support from the Alabama Bicentennial Commission and the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) for its schedule of bicentennial programming beginning in 2017. In addition to supporting the artist-in-residence program with Cary Norton and Jared Ragland, the Alabama Bicentennial Commission is WMA's partner for Stories of the Wiregrass, a digital archive that invites residents of eight Wiregrass counties to share stories with their community through the end of 2019. Combined support from the Alabama Bicentennial Commission and ASCA made possible "Semiotic Compass," a public sculpture designed and built by Dothan, Alabama-based architect Jason Schmidt and artist Michael Riddle. The sculpture was commissioned specifically for the bicentennial and is intended to spur conversation both at the installation site and among the local and regional community. Other projects were made possible through a multi-year award from ASCA and include the 2017 exhibition "Museum of Wonder," featuring work by Seale, Alabama's Butch Anthony, as well as the 2018 exhibition "Alabama Reckoner," featuring mixed-media portraits of Alabama artists by Birmingham, Alabama-based artist Doug Baulos.

Additional information on individual exhibitions and projects can be found on WMA's website at

On April 18 at WMA's Art After Hours (5:30 - 8 p.m.), the museum's quarterly celebration of new exhibition openings, Norton and Ragland will offer offer tintype portrait sittings. Each unique 4×5 inch plate will be made on site, then varnished and delivered several weeks after the sitting with a high resolution digital scan.

Sittings are limited to one person per portrait. The cost is $65 and reservations are required. To register for a 15-minute portrait session, guests should visit the April 18 listing on WMA's online events calendar:

The Wiregrass Museum of Art inspires a lifelong appreciation for the visual arts by providing innovative educational programs that engage diverse audiences through the collection and exhibition of quality works. Since its founding in 1988, WMA has offered educational programs, nationally-acclaimed art exhibitions and community events throughout the year. Its Board of Trustees guides the long-term vision and strategic goals, while its membership, City and County support, and grant funding provide the resources needed to fulfill its mission.

Created to guide and support the commemoration of the anniversary of Alabama's statehood, the twelve-member Alabama Bicentennial Commission is chaired by Senator Arthur Orr of Decatur. Beginning in 2013, the commission established committees to plan and coordinate events and activities centered on education, statewide initiatives, and local activities. These committees draw their membership from local government, small businesses and national corporations, volunteer organizations, schools and colleges, and everyday citizens who want to contribute.



SOME MILLION MILES, co-directed with Adam Forrester, premiered at the 13th annual Indie Grits Film Festival in Columbia, South Carolina, Thursday, March 28. The short documentary film was produced with generous support from an Indie Grits Rural Project Grant.

Atop Sand Mountain, a sandstone plateau in northeast Alabama infamous for poultry processing, Pentecostal snake-handling, and meth production, we meet Chico, Alice, and Misty, whose lives have been shaped by methamphetamine use. Chico struggles with reintegration into society following a jail sentence; Alice pursues recovery and fights for custody of her daughter; and Misty rebuilds a stable life after ending an abusive relationship. Set within a rural landscape of abundant beauty and deep poverty, SOME MILLION MILES presents a meditation on loss and the search for redemption amidst systemic s
ocial and economic marginalization.

Indie Grits Labs is a non-profit organization that works to serve communities through media education, artist driven projects, and the Indie Grits Festival in Columbia, South Carolina. The Indie Grits Festival is a four-day event that celebrates gritty, contemporary culture of the South through film, art and music. Propelled by a far-flung artistic vision, festival organizers seek to break down the walls intimidating Southern media makers by creating exhibition opportunities for work often overlooked elsewhere.



Several works from Good Bad People are included in the latest Looking at Appalachia traveling exhibition.  First stop is the Massillon Museum in Massillon, Ohio, programmed in conjunction with the NEA Big Read program. The exhibit runs from March 23 - June 2, 2019 in the Aultman Health Foundation Gallery. On Friday, April 12, from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., project director Roger May will speak about the project’s mission to explore the region’s diversity through photographs.

In an attempt to explore the diversity of Appalachia and establish a visual counter point, the Looking at Appalachia project considers Appalachia fifty years after the declaration of the War on Poverty. Drawing from a diverse population of photographers within the region, the crowdsourced image archive serves as a reference that is defined by its people as opposed to political legislation. Designed and directed by Roger May, the project is now in its fifth year.



Garrett Cemetery, Cherokee County, Alabama, from the series Where You Come From is Gone, 2017

New Orleans, La. – Staple Goods is pleased to announce the opening of Where You Come From is Gone, an exhibition by Alabama-based collaborative duo Jared Ragland and Cary Norton. The exhibition will run March 9–April 7, 2019, with an opening reception scheduled for Saturday, March 9, 6:00-9:00 pm, during the St. Claude Art District’s Second Saturday gallery openings. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays, 12:00-5:00pm, except for Second Saturdays when hours are 6:00-9:00 pm.

Where You Come From is Gone explores the importance of place, the passage of time, and the political dimensions of remembrance through the historical wet-plate collodion photographic process. Created on the eve of Alabama’s bicentennial, Ragland and Norton’s large-scale images seek to make known a history that has largely been eliminated and make visible the erasure that occurred in the American South between Hernando DeSoto’s first exploitation of native peoples in the 16th century and Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act 300 years later.

Using a 100-year-old field camera and a custom portable darkroom tailored to Ragland’s 4x4 truck, the two photographers journeyed more than 1,500 miles across 20 Alabama counties to locate, visit, and photograph indigenous sites using the historic wet-plate collodion tintype process. Yet the landscapes hold no obvious vestiges of the Native American cultures that once inhabited the site; what one might expect to see, preserve, or remember is already gone.

Through reasoned confrontation with our history and resistance toward (willful or accidental) cultural amnesia, Where You Come From is Gone provides a defense against the sort of ignorance that threatens democracy and enables totalitarianism and cautions us to be vigilant in guarding against altering, erasing, or “forgetting” our past,” writes art historian Catherine Wilkins, Ph.D., University of South Florida.

As such, Ragland and Norton’s pictures serve as a type of subtle activism by focusing on personal and collective memorymaking. “At this current moment in American life, the act of remembering is political and can have power,” Wilkins says, “and is particularly important at a time when a polarizing president’s policies endanger the environment, dispute Native American land rights, and further disenfranchise marginalized citizens.”

Staple Goods is located at 1340 St. Roch Ave., New Orleans 70117. More information is available at the Staple Goods website.



This week I will be at the College Art Association Conference in New York to discuss Where You Come From is Gone with art historian Catherine Wilkins, Ph.D., of the University of South Florida. Our discussion titled, Where You Come From is Gone: Reinhabiting the Ruins of the Native South, will take place during the panel, Below the Mason-Dixon Line: Artists and Historians Considering the South, Friday, February 15, 2-3pm at the New York Hilton Midtown - 3rd Floor, Rendezvous Trianon.  Below the Mason-Dixon Line will be moderated by University of Alabama art historian Rachel Stephens, Ph.D., and feature fellow panelists include Jeremiah Ariaz, Naomi Hood Slipp, Kristin M. Casaletto, and Nell Gottlieb.



Allison Beondé, from the series, At the hands of persons unknown, 2018

I am excited to announce the exhibition, All sorrows can be borne..., co-curated with AnnieLaurie Erickson, will open Dec. 8 at Antenna in New Orleans and run through the annual PhotoNOLA festival.

Featuring Allison Beondé, Rose Marie Cromwell, Amy Elkins, Annie Flanagan, and Jessica Ingram, All sorrows can be borne... questions the traditional roles and expectations of the documentary image. Across the exhibition, these nationally-regarded artists challenge assumed histories, hierarchies, and notions of objective truth through a variety of contemporary photographic, video, and installation works.

The exhibition will run through Jan. 6, 2019 and will be open for extended hours Saturday, Dec. 15, 5-8pm during PhotoNOLA.

Established in 2008 in New Orleans' burgeoning St. Claude arts district, Antenna Gallery emphasizes emerging artists and young curators who focus on collaborations, group and solo shows, and challenging works of video and digital media; at the same time building partnerships with city-wide programming initiatives and national arts initiatives. The space was founded as a collaborative venture and continues to be run and maintained by a collective of artists that draws on the diverse strengths of its 13 members to create exciting and original artist-focused programs.

Antenna is located at 3718 Saint Claude Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70117 and is open Tuesday–Sunday, 12–5pm.



Photographers Eliot Dudik and Jared Ragland are pleased to announce their third collaborative One Day Projects artist book publication, And light followed the flight of sound, available October 1 from

On August 21, 2017, the total solar eclipse provided a rare opportunity for people across the United States to experience a collective encounter. Despite the prevalence of contemporary political and cultural polarization, more than 215 million Americans– 88% of the country’s total population – stood side by side and looked skyward together, sharing in a quieting, unifying act.

Inspired by both the natural wonder and symbolic possibilities of this unique occurrence, Dudik and Ragland invited photographers from inside and outside the path of totality to document and share their experiences. The resulting book,And light followed the flight of sound,features 85 images by 52 emergent and established photographic artists. Presented as a 30-foot-long, hand-bound accordion with an enclosed saddle-stitched zine and essay by art historian Catherine Wilkins, Ph.D., University of South Florida, the limited edition of 150 copieswas printed on digital offset, covered in a foil-stamped cloth, and comes housed in a clear Mylar sleeve, also foil stamped. As the book is removed from its sleeve, the foil stamps mimic the passage of the moon in front of the sun. Production of And light followed the flight of sound was made possible by a grant from the College of William & Mary Dean's Fund; portions of the book were edited during a workshop with students from Duke University’s MFA in Experimental & Documentary Arts program.

The book’s title references E. M. Forster’s 1909 dystopian novella, The Machine Stops,in which the human species has become completely reliant upon technology to provide sustenance, deliver information, and mediate relationships. Today, life imitates art, and technology – which once promised to democratize knowledge and provide deep connection – has infiltrated the most intimate moments of our lives, increased individual isolation, provoked partisanship, and proliferated fake news.

“Inan age in which even acceptance of scientific knowledge has become incomplete, divisive, and politicized, the 2017 solar eclipse marked a sought after, albeit temporary, restoration of reason and scientific truth,” said art historian Catherine Wilkins, Ph.D. “The photographs found in And light followed the flight of soundseek to restore viewers’ senses through an embrace of firsthand experience and critical visual reckoning of terrestrial – or celestial – facts.

“Through representational images of the natural world and works invoking historic photographic processes, figures stand agog as sublime skyscapes counter the quotidian in a palindromic sequence punctuated by reflections, phenomena of light and shadow, and geometric forms. Despite a wide variation of styles, approaches, and locations, the photographs in And light followed the flight of sound remind us of our commonality, advance a vision of community regained, and reveal the transcendent power of science and citizenship, activism and art, beauty and imagination.”

To celebrate the release, Candela Books and Gallery in Richmond, Virginia will exhibit the book alongside a selection of works from the project. The show will run November 1–December 22, with a gallery talk on Thursday, November 1, 5-8pm, and an opening reception on Friday, November 2, 5-9pm. See the Candela website for more information.

And light followed the flight of sound artists:

ONE DAY PROJECTS promotes creative dialogue by challenging artists to collaboratively produce and publish innovative projects within a 24-hour time period. More information is available on their website and Instagram.



Three works from Where You Come From is Gone are on view at the SPE SC Juried Educator Exhibition at the Firehouse Gallery in Baton Rouge through November 10.  The show opens with a public reception, Friday, October 5, 7-9pm.  The exhibition was curated by Russell Lord, Freeman Family Curator of Photographs at the New Orleans Museum of Art.  The exhibition runs in conjunction with the Society of Photographic Education South Central Regional Conference. Both the conference and exhibition theme is Material + Meaning and brings together shared thematic concerns at the forefront of contemporary photographic practices: the widespread exploration of the aesthetic and physical possibilities of photography and the renewed understanding of the photograph as material object, placed in conversation with the harder-to-pin-down social and political concerns of our time.

While at the conference I will give an artist lecture titled, Where You Come From Is Gone: Examining the Political Dimensions of Remembrance Through the Wet-Plate Collodion Photographic Process.



Cat in a carport, Five Points, Wilson, North Carolina.

A selection of recent photographs will open Saturday, August 11, 7-9pm at The Jaybird in Birmingham, Ala.  The show includes work made over summer 2018 while in residence at the Eyes on Main Street photography festival in Wilson, North Carolina. The Jaybird is a homegrown community arts and performance space on 5th Avenue South in the Crestwood neighborhood of Birmingham that features local and regional artists and is home to the Birmingham Zine Library.



Chico, 48. Chico, wearing a Dia de los Muertos mask, sits in his living room under a swastika, the US Constitution, and a Confederate flag.
From GOOD BAD PEOPLE: Methamphetamine Use on Sand Mountain, Marshall County, Ala.

Indie Grits Labs is pleased to announce the opening of The Southern Disposition, an exhibition of photographs from a diverse group of Southern artists. Having sought work that “addresses and challenges the social, cultural, and physical landscapes of the South,” we are excited to showcase submissions from over 30 artists, stationed throughout the Southeast and beyond. Exploring the work of these artists, viewers will see common responses emerge: feelings of emotional, physical, and cultural dislocation. There are familiar moments of melancholy and nostalgia, countered with bold expressions of the marginalized experience within the Southern context. Alongside this, there is a sense of something shifting, signs of an uneasy transition. In a place typically inhospitable to minority voices, the power of the traditional majority is called into question with images of their underlying fragility; and within the expressions of displacement, even within the very act of creating these images, there is a suggestion of defiance – hope for a new generation, struggling to claim its place. This is the Southern Disposition.

The Southern Disposition will be on view July 26-September 27, 2018, at Indie Grits Labs, 1013 Duke Avenue, Columbia, SC.  The exhibition features the above image from the series, GOOD BAD PEOPLE, alongside works by friends Aaron Canipe, Alec Kaus, & Andy McMillan.



Bessemer Mounds, Jefferson County, Alabama, from the series Where You Come From is Gone, 2017

B18: Wiregrass Biennial
July 20-September 29 
Reception: July 19
Wiregrass Museum of Art, 126 Museum Ave., Dothan, Ala.

B18: Wiregrass Biennial showcases the region’s most talented contemporary artists, illustrating the South’s rich cultural heritage. The exhibition encourages innovative and progressive work that utilizes a variety of art forms and media and will feature paintings, sculptures as well as mixed media, new media, and installation art. This year’s show features forty artists from eight states, including Bessemer Mounds... from the series Where You Come From is Gone



Selection from the series, eequivalentss (Summer Soltice - Fall Equinox, 2015), 2018

I Surrender, Dear
July 10 - August 4, 2018
Reception: July 10, 6-8pm
Umbrella Arts Gallery, 317 E. 9th St, New York

Umbrella Arts Gallery is pleased to host I Surrender, Dear, an exhibition exploring the emotional equalizer of grief, born from the personal experience of curator Frances Jakubek. Fifteen visual artists converse within the space and address aspects of navigating loss and sorrow, acknowledging our shared humanity and forgoing the notion that grief is something better hidden away.

The exhibition opens July 10th with artists Ben Alper, Justin Aversano, Ben Davis, Nina Weinberg Doran, Catherine Druken, Gregg Evans, Camilla Anne Jerome, Michael Joseph, Molly Lamb, Luis Lazo, Rita Maas, Alyssa Meadows, Yasmeen Melius and Jared Ragland. At Umbrella Arts Gallery, 317 E. 9th St., New York; the exhibition runs through August 4th, 2018 with a reception on Tuesday, July 10th, from 6-8pm. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 1-6pm and by appointment.

Grieving is too often taken on as a solitary burden, I Surrender, Dear aims to open dialogue of stigmatized issues and encourage the safety of letting go and surrendering to each emotion we are capable of, without shame. The exhibiting artists visualize their personal experiences with suicide, sexual assault, death, the fragility and deterioration of memory, and hidden burdens with mental health. The viewer is welcomed into this communal space to release from their own silent suffering.



Through the month of June I will be an artist-in-residence at the the inaugural Eyes on Main Street residency program in Wilson, North Carolina. The residency will coincide with the Eyes on Main Street festival, a large outdoor and indoor photography showcase that transforms the historic downtown into a vibrant gallery of large-scale photographs spanning over six city blocks. While in residence I will be photographing in and around town and regularly posting images to my Instagram feed.  I’ll also be at work editing new images for GOOD BAD PEOPLE and working on a series of collages for an exhibition to open in Birmingham in August.  



Through the month of June I will be an artist-in-residence at the the inaugural Eyes on Main Street residency program in Wilson, North Carolina. The residency will coincide with the Eyes on Main Street festival, a large outdoor and indoor photography showcase that transforms the historic downtown into a vibrant gallery of large-scale photographs spanning over six city blocks. While in residence I will be photographing in and around town and regularly posting images to my Instagram feed.  I’ll also be at work editing new images for GOOD BAD PEOPLE and working on a series of collages for an exhibition to open in Birmingham in August.  


05.06.18 // PHOTO-EMPHASIS 

GOOD BAD PEOPLE is featured on Photo-Emphasis, alongside an interview about my teaching and the photography area at the UAB Department of Art & Art History.  See the interview here:

PHOTO–EMPHASIS is a platform for showcasing current and diverse photography made by established and emerging artists and serves as a resource in promoting photographic art, education, and community, for those committed to and newly joining the medium. Through weekly features and interviews, the site highlights work by photography educators, students, and practitioners; providing an opportunity to feature personal projects and share information about their affiliated institution. PHOTO–EMPHASIS was founded by artists Alec Kaus and Rana Young, both University of Nebraska–Lincoln alumni, in June 2017.



EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT will be on view May 12-June 3 at The Front, New Orleans. Originally made in New Orleans in response to Walker Percy’s novel The Moviegoer (which was also set in New Orleans), the project will be exhibited in its entireity and will open with a reception May 12, 6-10pm.  Artist talk at 6pm.

Read the press release here:


03.10.18 // PHOTONOLA 2017 REVIEW PRIZE 


We are delighted to announce the PhotoNOLA 2017 Review Prize recipients: Congratulations to Rachel Boillot, Susan kae Grant, and Jared Ragland!

PhotoNOLA’s Portfolio Review program offers emerging to established photographers the chance to present their work to influential members of the photographic community. Photographers convene for two days of face-to-face meetings with gallery owners, editors, publishers and museum curators.

After the reviews conclude, each reviewer is asked to note three outstanding projects. The PhotoNOLA 2017 Review Prize Winners are:

1st- Rachel Boillot – Silent Ballad
2nd- Susan kae Grant – Night Journey
3rd- Jared Ragland – Good Bad People

Read the news release here:



A diptych of works from EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT has been selected by juror Shane Lavalette, Director of Light Work in Syracuse, NY, for the 2018 Open Juried Exhibition at the Vermont Center for Photography in Brattleboro, VT. The show runs March 2–April 1, 2018 and features 33 photographs made by photographers from around the globe. A closing reception is scheduled for Sunday, April 1, 4-7pm.



Jacob Riis, Lodgers in a Crowded Bayard Street Tenement, 1889

Foreign Domestic: Identification, Differentiation and Related Strategies in Social Documentary Practice: Matt Eich, Annie Flanagan, and Jared Ragland; moderated by Catherine Wilkins, Ph.D.

Friday, March 02 - 9:00AM to 10:45AM
Grand Ballroom Salon G, Philadelphia Downtown Marriot

From Jacob Riis' "How the Other Half Lives" to more recent contemporary documentary projects, photographers have captured the ephemera of everyday life as it coexists with markers of marginalization - poverty, drug use, and domestic violence - to provide points of both familiar connection and disjuncture for viewers. In dialogue with art historian Catherine Wilkins, photographers Matt Eich, Annie Flanagan, and Jared Ragland will discuss their work in struggling American communities and share how they, like Riis, employ the "foreign domestic" to provide richer, more nuanced portraits of people on the periphery while offering viewers opportunities for empathic identification and increased understanding.



A short-term exhibition of Everything Is Going To Be All Right is on view at the Viar-Christ Center for the Arts at Hampden Sydney College in Farmville, VA.  The installation is arranged as an allusion to the Isenheim Altarpiece and turns the new Hampden Sydney College art gallery into a small chapel.

A free, public lecture on the project, is scheduled for Monday, February 26, at 7:00 pm in Hampden-Sydney College's Brinkley Hall.



What would happen if an exhibition never stopped? Since it began in 1993, with this question being asked by Hans Ulrich Obrist and artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier, do it has become the longest-running and most far-reaching exhibition ever to have happened – constantly evolving and generating evermore relevant new versions of itself. do it has toured to venues from New York to Manchester, Budapest to Salt Lake City, and Kosovo to Moscow. And now, from January 26 to July 1, 2018, do it is opening at the Mobile Museum of Art.

Mobile Museum of Art presents its own reinterpretation of do it with the help of regional artists and community groups. The exhibition features Jared Ragland’s Untitled (Friday May 3 - 1963 / 9 arrested (placards) / Pizitz’s alley 3 P.M. / Hart), a large scale print diptych made in response to Hans-Peter Feldmann’s Homework (or Do It Yourself) (1996).

For more inforation:



Untitled (House of Wax), 2015 from the series EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT is included in Dear Dave, Magazine #26. The image appears alongside work by Grant Willing, Ben Alper, Bryson Rand, Anastasia Samoylova, Drew Nikonowicz, Czar Kristoff, Daniel Shea and others in a feature curated by Efrem Zelony-Mindell.



From artist/writer/educator Jonathan Blaustein: (Jared’s work) was the most complete, compelling project I saw, and I voted for it for the Photo NOLA prize.

Jared used to work with Pete Souza in Obama’s White House. (An era that now seems like Martin Sheen’s TV presidency, for all the similarities it shares with contemporary reality.) But Jared is originally from Alabama, and returned home to turn his attention to the meth epidemic that is ravaging the NE part of the state.

The pictures are genuinely visceral, as they make a viewer feel uncomfortable. They show something decidedly ugly, and real, but the strong aesthetics give the ride a bit of turbo boost. Additionally, Jared worked with a sociologist to give the project a sense of academic rigor.

Brilliant stuff.

See the full post at:



Co-authored with Heith Copes, Whitney Tchoula, and Fiona Brookman, “Photo-Elicitation Interviews with Vulnerable Populations: Practical and Ethical Considerations,” has been published in the journal, Deviant Behavior

Photo-elicitation is a qualitative interview technique where researchers solicit responses, reactions, and insights from participants by using photographs or other images as stimuli. Images can be researcher-generated or participant-generated and each has particular benefits and challenges. Though not new, the use of images within criminology is an underused technique. In this paper we advocate the use of photo-elicitation techniques suggesting that they offer a powerful addition to standard data collection and presentation techniques. In making our case, we draw on our experiences from an 18-month long photo-ethnography of people living in rural Alabama who use methamphetamine. The ethnography consisted of formal interviews and informal observations with 52 participants and photography of 29 of them. While we draw on our overall experiences from the project we focus specifically on the photographs generated by, and taken of, one key participant—Alice. We demonstrate the benefits and challenges of using photo elicitation interviews with vulnerable individuals such as Alice, by considering themes such as representation, empowerment and emotionality. Additionally, we highlight the practical and ethical issues that confront researchers who incorporate the visual into their research.

Read the full text at:



To mark the bicentennial of Alabama’s creation as a territory, this exhibition includes both established makers along with younger, emerging artists to examine the current vitality of artistic creativity found throughout the state. Focusing on new and innovative works produced within the last few years, this survey demonstrates not only a commitment to community and place, but also a dedication to highlighting new viewpoints and practices. Showcasing a mixture of art in various media and two- and three-dimensional forms, the exhibition positions current contemporary artistic practices by artists in Alabama within a broader global context of art making.

The exhibition features two photographs from Where You Come From is Gone and runs through January 21, 2018.

For more information visit:


A solo exhibition of GOOD BAD PEOPLE will be on view during the 2nd annual In/Out Transylvania Foto Festival, October 6-15 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. In addition to the exhibition, a video slideshow featuring images from GOOD BAD PEOPLE will be screened at an evening event.

The In/Out Transylvania Foto Festival is the first documentary photography festival in Romania and is a project initiated by Fotopia Collective, a photography organization founded to support documentary photography and photojournalism in Romania . 



Through the spring of 2017 Cary Norton and I have journeyed more than 1,500 miles across 20 Alabama counties to locate, visit, and photograph sites of Native American habitation and removal for our latest GUSDUGGER collaborative wet-plate collodion project. Filmmaker Jason Wallis joined us for a shoot in June and made this video featuring music by Wooden Wand, from the new album, Clipper Ship.

Where You Come From is Gone is currently on view at Lowe Mill's North Floor Gallery in Huntsville, Ala. through Aug. 25.



Alice, 21, from GOOD BAD PEOPLE: Methamphetamine Use on Sand Mountain, Marshall County, Ala.

“Like Larry Clark’s Tulsa, the controversial 1971 book of photographs depicting Clark's own social scene of young people in Tulsa, shooting amphetamine, having sex and playing with guns, Good Bad People could be viewed as sensationalistic. But unlike Tulsa, which uses very little text and relies on the images to tell the story, Ragland and Copes augment the images with extensive captions to provide context for each of their subjects. "With a project like this, it’s easy to sensationalize, to demonize, to really cut short the depth of someone who uses an illicit substance or is poor or is marginalized in some way," Ragland says. "I really wanted to focus on personal narratives, even if it’s not implicit in the photographs, to get to that sense of nuance and depth."

Read David Alm's story here: This Controversial Project Spotlights Meth And The People Who Use It.



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:



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

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 project with Cary Norton, Where You Come From is Gone. The show runs July 9 – September 24, 2017; a preview party is scheduled for Saturday, July 8, 2017, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.



Installation of Everything Is Going To Be All Right at Candela Books + Gallery

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.



“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.”

Stream the podcast here:



Installation of Everything Is Going To Be All Right at Mobile Museum of Art

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. Curated by Richard McCabe, this exhibition was conceptualized and organized to compliment Mobile Museum of Art’s CHRISTENBERRY: In Alabama. Contemporary 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

From exhibition curator, Richard McCabe: 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.



Selections from the series, eequivalentss, featured in Paradise: Out-Front

“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.

About 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?

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 Alper, Ian van Coller, Mark Dorf, Matt Eich, Frances Jakubek, Thalassa Raasch, Jared Ragland, Justin James Reed, Anastasia Samoylova, Bryan Schutmaat, Aline Smithson, Katherine Squier, and Susan Worsham.

Visit for full artist biographies and info. Gallery hours: Wednesday-Sunday 12-6pm.

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



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

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.


01.20.17 // THANKS OBAMA

Official White House photo by Pete Souza

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.