Imaginary Landscapes: Stories from the American South

Fruit Stand, Highway 441, Georgia, 2018

Four prints from SOUTHERN FICTION are included in an exhibition from May 17 – August 27 in the Bunzl Gallery at The Bascom: A Center for Visual Arts in Highlands, NC. Guest curated by Kate Anderson, Imaginary Landscapes: Stories from the American South, features narrative works that attempt to capture the myriad stories of the South by contemporary artists alongside works from the Johnson Collection and the Collection of the Black Mountain College Museum. A public reception will be held on Thursday, June 16 at 5pm.

Casey Cep’s essay for The New Yorker’s Photo Booth: THE REAL PLACES THAT GAVE RISE TO SOUTHERN FICTIONS

Those who know me well know that I spent many months of the past year deeply absorbed by the search for writers with just the right knowledge and insight to contribute essays to my forthcoming book, SOUTHERN FICTION, scheduled to be released by Daylight Books in October 2022. I am so grateful and excited to collaborate with another pair of brilliant women, Casey Cep and Lauren Rhoades, on my second book of photographs. Casey Cep is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of the NYT bestseller Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee. Lauren Rhoades is a writer and the director of the Eudora Welty House & Garden, and in Casey’s words, “a thoughtful steward of Welty’s legacy.” Thank you to The New Yorker for publishing Casey’s essay, along with a selection of my images, in their Photo Booth feature: THE REAL PLACES THAT GAVE RISE TO SOUTHERN FICTIONS. It’s been my favorite publication since I learned how to read.

Solo Exhibition of SOUTHERN FICTION at Tracey Morgan Gallery

William Faulkner’s Kitchen Curtains, Rowan Oak, Oxford, Mississippi, 2018

TEMA STAUFFER: SOUTHERN FICTION
November 5 – December 23, 2021
Reception for the Artist: Friday, November 5, 6-8pm

The gallery’s press release:

Tracey Morgan Gallery is pleased to present a selection of large-format color photographs from Tema Stauffer’s ongoing series, Southern Fiction. This is Stauffer’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.

Southern Fiction traces the literary landscape of the American South, investigating sites which were formative to canonical fiction writers of the region such as William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Harper Lee, Truman Capote, Alice Walker, and Flannery O’Connor, among others. An affinity for the works of these iconic writers has informed Stauffer’s photographic practice, and her road trips through rural Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia are pilgrimages of sorts. Her resulting images capture a fascination with the beauty, mystery, and layered complexity of the South.

Paramount to the works of many Southern writers is a strong sense of place, and Stauffer’s photographs as well are imbued with this sensibility. The stillness and quiet grandeur of her images speaks to belonging; old structures and automobiles are literally tethered to the earth, engulfed in foliage, while interior living spaces are carefully ordered and marked by permanence. There is an immovability to these photographs and the objects depicted therein, and they are charged with the weight of both the real and imagined histories they hold.

Tema Stauffer is a photographer whose work examines the social, economic, and cultural landscape of American spaces. She is currently an Associate Professor of Photography at East Tennessee State University. Her work has been exhibited at galleries and institutions internationally. In 2018, Daylight Books published a monograph of her Upstate series portraying the lingering legacy of American industrial and agricultural history in and around Hudson, New York. The book was nominated for the Unveil’d Photobook Award 2018. The production of Southern Fiction received support from ETSU’s Research Development Committee through a Small Grant Award in 2019 and a Major Grant Award in  2020. She is the recipient of a Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship award for fiscal year 2022 towards completing this project.

All press inquiries, please contact china@traceymorgangallery.com

Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship Award Recipient

William Faulkner’s Kitchen Curtains, Rowan Oak, Oxford, Mississippi, 2018

I am honored and grateful to be the recipient of a Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship award to support the completion, exhibition, and publication of my current series, Southern Fiction. This series of large-format color photographs explores the history of the American South using its literary tradition as a road map, focusing on environments which have shaped the imaginations of 20th-century Southern writers during their formative years or throughout the course of their lives and careers. The images portray domestic settings, vernacular architecture, and rural landscapes that visually resonate with the history, culture, and atmosphere of the Deep South.

Published in April 2021 Issue of Harper’s Magazine

Bedroom, Dream Catcher’s Sleep Lab, Dripping Springs, TX from AMERICAN STILLS was published along with a piece of fiction by Elizabeth Ellen in the April Issue of Harper’s Magazine available online as of today. The story, Lucky Woman, portrays a couple’s trip to a mattress store during the last days leading up to their divorce.