On exhibit February 1—March 29, 2019
From Krishna Adams, Director of Visual Arts, Craft, Media and Design –
I went to Cristalândia because I had no reason to go. There I knew no one and could build relationships from scratch. I am a Brazilian who has never lived in Brazil, and I needed to understand why I stopped feeling Brazilian as soon as I was in it. Despite over a dozen trips to visit family and despite touring more states than most Brazilians will ever see in their lifetime, I didn’t seem to belong in Brazil. I went to Cristalândia because I wanted to understand difference — to know how to live with people who were different from me even though our passports said we were the same. My wide lens and large-format camera forced me to get close to people, where I would have to participate in daily life not just observe it. Deliberately slow, my camera required me to ask them to hold still and collaborate, making a picture with them rather than taking one of them. I went to Cristalândia because I needed to share in their experience. Cristalândia is a mining town whose mining no longer sustains it, and it is shared human experience not economic opportunity that holds the town together. Through shared human experience, I can belong there, too. — Joe Reynolds
Joe Reynolds earned an M.F.A. in photography from the Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston, MA; a B.F.A. in photography from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN; and a B.A. in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, NC. He has received numerous awards including the FY18 Individual Artist Fellowship in Photography from the Tennessee Arts Commission. Find out more about Reynolds at www.joereynoldsphotographs.com.
Meet the Artist: Friday, March 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
in the Tennessee Arts Commission Gallery