Note: Exhibition is open M-F, 9am-5pm.
During my childhood coal was king. There was nothing better than having a mining job. Festivals were created to celebrate miner’s service to the industry and to thank their families for helping along the way. Although, coal jobs have declined in towns of West Virginia where I grew up, there is still an allegiance to an industry that helped families live larger and better; a reminiscence of the good ole’ days. This series helps explore the complex, conflicted experience of coal miners, their families, interest in the tradition of vernacular objects, and to pay homage to the personal family history of coal mining and the work ethic included within it. –Julie Rae Powers
Julie Rae Powers is a photographic artist, born in West Virginia, and grew up in the south. Her practice centers on identity experiences, personal history, and gender/sexuality politics. Her work has recently been added to the permanent collection of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan and published in Rich Community: An Anthology of Appalachian Photographers by Sapling Grove Press. She is currently entering her last year of the MFA program at The Ohio State University.