ETSU Slocumb Galleries presents ‘Where Was It, The World?’ by Jo Ann Walters

Published 8:46 am Tuesday, February 11, 2020

JOHNSON CITY — The East Tennessee State University Department of Art and Design and Slocumb Galleries present Jo Ann Walters’ photographic collection “Where Was It, The World?” The exhibit continues through Feb. 14 at the Slocumb Galleries. A reception will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 11, from 5-7 p.m., with a gallery talk at 6 p.m.

Walters’ collection takes viewers on a journey through the industrialized and rural South, where they are exposed to the reality of those who have “narrowly failed to achieve the success or position promised to them during the rise and fall of globalization.”

The initial photographs in the collection were taken in Walters’ hometown in the region of the Mississippi Delta, where once industrialized towns are now sites devoid of life, left by “progress.” Walters draws inspiration from these small, blue-collar towns near the Mississippi River valley and various places in the U.S., reminiscent of many areas in Appalachia stripped of their beauty and resources due to coal mining.

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“Together, these pictures comprise a quiet, often starkly beautiful, meditation on the mineral wastes and dregs of an unsparing indifferent economy,” Walters says of her collection, which spans two decades.

The exhibition was curated to provoke a mixture of emotions, such as remembrance and regret, as one gains a new sense of place, time, and history that many merely glance over.

The Slocumb Galleries are located on the ETSU campus in Ball Hall, 232 Sherrod Drive, with hours on weekdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., with extended hours until 6 p.m. on Thursdays and during lectures and receptions or group tours as requested. All events are free and open to the public.

For information, email Slocumb Galleries Director Karlota Contreras-Koterbay at For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346.