East Tennessee State University’s Reece Museum has three exhibitions that showcase a wide variety of photography.
In “Parting Shots,” an exhibit composed of work by ETSU photography professor Mike Smith, there were photos of controversial topics that were shown frequently in the media in 2016.
Grouped in collections throughout the designated showroom, Smith’s photos showcase a wide variety of topics.
The art is meant to speak for itself. Each piece is left without any label or an artist statement. Exhibition coordinator Spenser Brenner spoke briefly on how Smith really wanted each guest to feel for themselves and not be forced to feel a certain way by a title or an idea about the work.
“I really had to just take a minute and look at each piece in detail, and the thing about a lot of the photographs is everyone who looks at them will take something different away from the art,” ETSU student Abby Leonard said.
“The “Parting Shots” exhibit was particularly engaging for me,” Leonard continued. “The photographs were scenes that reminded me of where I grew up — somewhere that had beautiful scenery and wealthy neighborhoods alongside poorer communities with a lot of history. This photographer chose to display the real, gritty side that can be found in many communities all over this region especially.”
“Under the Influence” is a group exhibition that showcases photography from 34 of Smith’s former students. Smith will be retiring in May of 2017, and this series was produced in honor of Smith and to commemorate the influence he had on his students.
“Somewhere Along the Line” is an exhibition by visiting professor Joshua Dudley Greer, who features photographs from across the country based off the highway system. Each piece is a look into a different place around the United States, giving students and faculty the opportunity to travel with Greer.
“Parting Shots” and “Under the Influence” will be closing on March 3, and “Somewhere Along the Line” closes on Feb. 28. There will be a ceremony for all of the exhibitions on Jan. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m.