Loyal Jones Appalachian Center

    The Journeyman’s Song: Paintings by Jeff Chapman-Crane

    • Posted on by Christopher Miller
    • JCCInstalled1

      Title: The Journeyman’s Song: Paintings by Jeff Chapman-Crane

      Dates Showing: April 11, 2016 through June 3, 2016

      Location: Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, Longwall Gallery

      Description: Twenty paintings by noted Appalachian artist Jeff Chapman-Crane

      Artist’s Statement: Jeff Chapman-Crane is a Southern Appalachian artist who lifts up the truth and integrity of the mountain experience with realistic images of people and places. He works in water-based media (watercolor, gouache, and egg tempera) and has been painting for over 30 years since being challenged and inspired by his high school art teacher, Don Hilton. Following the tenets of the American Society of Classical Realism, Jeff’s work encompasses the highest principles of traditional representational art – fine drawing, balanced design, harmonious color and skillful craftsmanship. While not in the stylized realism of American Regionalism, his work shares a strong identification with a particular region – conveying geographic features of the land and unique human, cultural and social characteristics.

      Among the artists who have greatly influenced Chapman-Crane’s work are Rembrandt for the shear power of composition, mastery of brushstrokes, and the profound depth of human understanding revealed in his portraits; Vermeer in his use of light and portrayals of everyday, domestic life; the French Impressionists for their revelation of the color of light; and Edward Hopper’s ability to stop time and capture a moment. Jeff gives much credit to Vincent Van Gogh, his favorite artist, whose emotional intensity and absolute devotion to his work move and inspire him. His realistic work follows well-established traditions in American art, in the vein of Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, and Andrew Wyeth for their portrayals of ordinary life. Social commentary photographers Dorothy Lange, Ken Murray of Tennessee, and “Picture Man” Mullins of Jenkins, Kentucky have also influenced the content of Jeff’s work.

      His work has been featured in American Artist Magazine, and he is a four-time finalist in the Artists Magazine’s annual portrait competition. He was the illustrator for the children’s book, “Ragsale”, which won Best in Show at the 1995 New England Bookfair. Jeff’s work has been represented by the Phyllis J. Weston Art Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio and by the J.N. Bartfield Gallery in New York City.

      Today he lives in Eolia, Kentucky and operates The Valley of the Winds Art Gallery with his wife, Sharman Chapman-Crane. Sharman is also an artist and creates representational sculptures of endangered animals and habitats with found materials. “Come an’ set a spell” at the Valley of the Winds Art Gallery, 2356 Hwy. 806, Eolia, Ky 40826. 606-633-8652.

      Curators: The artist and Christopher Miller

    Making Ideas Stick: The Mullins Family Coal Mining Sticker Collection

    • Posted on by Christopher Miller
    • Safety Sticker from the Mine Safety and Health AdministrationTitle: Making Ideas Stick: The Mullins Family Coal Mining Sticker Collection

      Dates Showing: February 1, 2016 through at April 4, 2016 and June 1, 2016 through August 15 2016

      Location: Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, Longwall Gallery

      Description: In underground coal mines, stickers on helmets, lunch pails, and equipment deliver messages, allow miners to personalize their environment, and increase safety.  This exhibit displays nearly 100 stickers collected between 1970 and 2010 by the Mullins family, who for five generations worked in the mines of southwestern Virginia and eastern Kentucky.

      Nick Mullins writes:

      “With the absence of any natural light, coal mines are extremely dark. This darkness combined with the monochromatic environment of coal and rock dust makes finding items a difficult task. Coal miners have long relied on reflective stickers and tapes to mark their dinner buckets, coffee thermoses, and hard hats, exponentially increasing their visibility when the beam of a cap lamp sweeps across an area. Equipment manufacturers, mine supply companies, and even the coal companies themselves began producing reflective stickers as a means of advertisement. These stickers were often collected and traded among miners spurring many companies to produce stickers in commemoration of production milestones and to celebrate holidays. Some mine suppliers produced limited editions.

      “The stickers in this exhibit are from the personal collections of my paternal grandfather, George Herbert Mullins, and my father, Randy Mullins, and my own collection. They represent four decades of coal mining in the Central Appalachian Mountains, primarily in Southwestern Virginia and Eastern Kentucky, where five generations of my family spent many of their days in the damp darkness of the mines.”

      Curators: Kathryn Dunn and Christopher Miller assisted by the Mullins Family


    Berea Made, Berea Served: Glimpses of Past Student Labor

    • Posted on by Christopher Miller
    • Title: Berea Made, Berea Served: Glimpses of Past Student Labor

      Dates Showing: February 25, 2016 through at least January 15, 2017

      Location: Lobby of the Frost Building, Berea College Campus

      Description: All students at Berea College have worked in the Student Labor Program since its official beginning in 1906. Many things about the program have changed. Some student positions no longer exist and others have evolved considerably. There also used to be a Labor Day Parade and contests for certain kinds of work. This exhibit explores a few labor positions, kinds of work, and Labor Day activities that no longer exist. It uses artifacts from the Berea College history collection and images from the College archives.

      Student Curator: Rustina Mullins (’16) assisted by Kathryn Dunn and Christopher Miller

    Exhibit: Modern Tintypes of Folk Musicians, by Lisa Elmaleh

    • Posted on by Christopher Miller
    • Title: “Modern Tintypes of Folk Musicians, by Lisa Elmaleh”

      Dates Showing: October 16, 2015 through December 11, 2015

      Location: Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, Longwall Gallery

      Description: Seventeen tintype photographs of contemporary Appalachian folk musicians, primarily from Kentucky.  These images were selected by the artist and are part of her series America Folk.

      About the Artist: Lisa Elmaleh’s work is an exploration of rural America. Using a portable darkroom in the back of her truck, Elmaleh photographs using the nineteenth century wet plate collodion process.  Elmaleh is a West Virginia based photographer and educator at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She has been awarded the Aaron Siskind Foundation IPF Grant, PDN’s 30, the Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation Grant, the Tierney Fellowship, and The Everglades National Park Artist Residency. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently featuring her American Folk work as a solo show at KMR Arts Gallery in Connecticut, and a group show, Imaging Eden: Photographers Discover the Everglades at the Norton Museum.  Elmaleh’s work has appeared in Harper’s MagazinePDN, and Rangefinder, among others.

      Artist’s Statement: Since 2010, I have been creating tintypes of musicians who play traditional American music in and around the Appalachian Mountains – West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. I travel out to the homestead of each musician, and spend a full day or more with each musician, documenting their likeness, their instruments, and the landscape that they reside in.  Each 8×10 tintype plate is hand coated, exposed in a large format camera, and developed on-site in a small darkroom in the back of my pickup truck.

      This music guides me visually – the portraits are traditional, with historical references, as the music is traditional.  I am largely influenced by those who came before me – the Appalachian portraits of Doris Ullman, or the agricultural portraits and landscapes of Dorothea Lange, or the portraits of August Sander.  I am also influenced by the field recordings and work of Alan Lomax, who actively worked to preserve traditional American music.  The tradition of American folk music echoes in the historic nature of the process I am using.

      The process of my travels and finding musicians to photograph is organic and collaborative.  I find new musicians to photograph through gatherings, festivals, and dances, community centers, or by suggestions of the musicians I have photographed.  Each musician I photograph is tied to the Appalachian mountains – some whose families have lived here for many generations, others who have moved to urban areas and returned, and still others who have moved to the region to learn from the older folks who play the music.  As a transplant to this region myself, I am an active participant in this community, and am learning music as I travel and photograph.  My work is both a documentation of Appalachian heritage music, as well as a celebration of it.

      The Artist’s Website: http://lisaelmaleh.com

      Other Links about the Artist’s Work:

    Exhibit: “Sounds of Song and Dance: Recent Music Accessions to the Teaching Collection”

    • Posted on by Christopher Miller
    • Title: “Sounds of Song and Dance: Recent Music Accessions to the Teaching Collection”

      Dates Showing: Opened September 1, 2015, currently showing

      Location: Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, Longwall Gallery

      Description: This exhibit highlights several recent additions to the Appalachian Studies Teaching Artifacts Collection that relate to dance, music, and sound.  Included are record albums and cassette tapes published by the Berea College Recreation Extension, a dulcimer made by L. Allen Smith, and a record album on the physics of sound, used in teaching media production at Berea College in the 1970s and 1980s.

      Curator and Designer: Kathryn Dunn, Student Curatorial Associate


    Outdoor Exhibit: LJAC Raised Bed Garden

    • Posted on by Christopher Miller
    • Title: Grow Appalachia Raised Bed Project

      Dates Shown: May through December 2015

      Location: South side of Stephenson Hall, just outside the Longwall Gallery

      Description: Grow Appalachia shows just how much food can be produced in a 3ft. by 7ft. by raised bed garden.  The Grow Appalachia staff are planting a sequence of crops.

      2015 Crops: Spring greens, tomatos, and fall greens

      Curators: The Grow Appalachia staff and student Shadia Prater

      The LJAC Raised Bed

      The LJAC Raised Bed

      It is possible to grow a great deal of food in a small space with proper variety selection and management. We will also plant cold hardy varieties in the fall with the goal being the production of something tasty and nutritious nine months a year.

      Grow Appalachia is working to make Appalachia healthier and more food secure one season, one garden, one family at a time.

    Exhibit: “Under Investigation: Stories of Cryptids from Appalachia & Kentucky”

    • Posted on by Christopher Miller
    • Cryptids of Appalachian and Kentucky Title graphic

      Title: Under Investigation – Stories of Cryptids form Appalachia & Kentucky

      Dates Shown: November 18, 2014 through February 21, 2016

      Location: Lobby of the Frost Building, Berea College Campus

      Description: A cryptid is an animal whose existence or continued existence is disputed or unsubstantiated.  This small exhibit introduces eight interesting cryptids found in Appalachian and Kentucky folklore and literature: The Pope Lick Monster, Moth Man, Sheepsquatch, Giant Catfish, The Flatwoods Monster, Bigfoot, Little Green Men of Kelly, and Black Panther or Painter Cats.

      Close up of the lower half of one of the display cases

      Curatorial and Design Team: Matt Heil, Caroline Hughes, and Christopher Miller

      Contributing Artist: R. LeAndre Flores

      Student Curator Matt Heil installing

      Student Curator Matt Heil installing the display

      Curator Christopher Miller recalls: “When planning this exhibition, we decided to experiment with a teaser campaign. Three weeks in advance we covered the glass display cases with paper leaving a few small openings, put red and blue flashing police lights inside, played an audio loop of barely audible police radio communications, and put up very official looking signs that included the phrases: ‘Danger’ and ‘Possible Biological and Radioactive Contamination.’  I think it was only two hours before I got a call from the campus environmental safety people. We rephrased the signs and put clear disclaimers on them.”

    Poster Exhibit: East Tennessee Showcase

    • Posted on by Christopher Miller
    • Title: East Tennessee Showcase Poster Exhibit

      Dates Showing: Opened October 23, 2013 and still showing

      Description: Four current Berea College students created poster displays about there chunk of the East Tennessee world for the East Tennessee showcase student event.  For a limited time the posters remain on display in the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center.

      Curators: Student Curators include: Tabitha Cornett, Tyler Culver, Haley Skeen, and Shelby Wheeler

      Location: LJAC Gallery, Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, Stephenson Hall, Berea College, 211 N. Main Street, Berea, Kentucky

      Click each thumbnail below to view the posters

    Photography and Writing: Tools for Conservation

    • Posted on by Christopher Miller

    • photos 1 w

      Title: Photography and Writing: Tools for Conservation

      Dates Shown: October 20, 2014 – January 30, 2015

      Location: Loyal Jones Appalachian Center

      Description: This exhibit showcased the creative work produced during the Summer 1, 2014 course ENG/TAD 266 Photography and Writing: Tools for Conservation. Over the span of two weeks, participants explored the southwest landscape of deserts, mountains, and canyons through photography and creative writing, traveling to Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Arches National Park in Utah. Local fieldwork included trips to Indian Fort, Anglin Falls, and Owsley Fork Reservoir.

      Since the Civil War, conservationists have helped shape public opinion and federal laws with a unique and powerful tool – the photograph. In today’s world, conservation organizations such as the Sierra Club, Audubon Society and Greenpeace continue to save species and preserve wild places by arousing the public with powerful visual images reproduced in wall calendars and large format books. Pairing these images with words – poems, essays, or articles on scientific, historical, aesthetic, or spiritual dimensions of nature – has been another important means of preserving the earth.

      This course was designed for students interested in photographing and preserving our natural environment. Photographic instruction was centered on camera use, composition, and printmaking through Photoshop and digital story-telling. Students also read a variety of nature writings and experimented with different forms of nature writing related to their photographic images. Classroom sessions included philosophical discussions of the viability of using photography, alone or with writing, to lobby Congress and increase public awareness of conservation issues. Stewardship of the earth’s resources and the role of nature in spiritual and artistic development were central themes throughout the course.

      A reception and presentation of the exhibit took place Monday October 20, 5 – 6:30 p.m.


      writings 1 w

      Instructors Dr. Libby Jones and Dr. Alan Mills, and students Taylor Ashworth, Atiba Bailey, Nicholas Farr, Ricky Foley, Chloe Forsting, Sara Gallimore, Oksana Grishchuk, Emily Isaacs, Austin Johnson, Tabitha Potter-Cornett, Christine Rider, Anna Joines Skaggs, Kathleen G. Tempesta, Tenzin Tsundu, and Marty Wayland


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    As It Once Was: A Reflection on Trammel, Virginia

    • Posted on by maddenk
    • Paintings by Danielle Owens (Class of  2014)

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      Selected pieces from this online exhibit were featured in the 2014 Senior Art Exhibition in Berea College’s Upper and Lower Traylor Art Galleries as part of recent Berea College graduate Danielle Owens’ senior art project. The Loyal Jones Appalachian Center has supported this project, and continues to support it by featuring two selected pieces in Faber Library and the entire collection of powerfully poignant paintings in this online exhibit. Read below for Danielle’s description of the project.

      Artist’s Statement:

      I was born and raised in the heart of Southwest Virginia to a family deep-rooted in coal. Trammel, a once thriving coal camp close to my home, is a symbol of personal heritage that is rich with music, stories and the proud individuals whose hard work fueled the country in the early 1900s. My paintings are my reflection on Trammel. I recall memories of the town as it once was; and even now, it serves as a reminder of a way of life. The older generations tell stories about this time in Appalachia, and local music recalls the struggle of miners and their families, but few people from outside the coal fields of Trammel, Virginia understand its deep history. I chose to work with watercolor because of its delicate, ethereal quality, emphasized by the fading lines and faint colors. I believe this softness evokes a sense of memory, which is often dissolved and unclear. The paper I selected has a light sepia tone which reminds me of old family photographs. Just as photographs document moments passed, my work documents a place and time in Appalachia that is quickly fading away.


      To learn more about this project, email Danielle Owens at berealady9@gmail.com.

    Exhibit: “Sarah’s Appalachia: Sevier County, Tennessee”

    • Posted on by Christopher Miller
    • Sarah Carr installing her exhibition: Sarah's Appalachia: Sevier County, Tennessee

      Sarah Carr installing her exhibition: Sarah’s Appalachia: Sevier County, Tennessee

      Title: Sarah’s Appalachia: Sevier County, Tennessee

      Dates Showing: November 21, 2013 through July 31, 2014

      Description: This exhibition is a photovoice project.  Berea student Sarah Carr selected five images of places connected to her hometown, Sever County, Tennessee.  Carr’s evocative caption into her place and her perceptions of that place.

      View the PDF version of Sarah’s exhibition.

      Curator: Student Curator Sarah Carr, student employee of the Brushy Fork Institute

      Location: LJAC Gallery, Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, Stephenson Hall, Berea College, 211 N. Main Street, Berea, Kentucky

    Exhibit: “Dolly Parton Pinball, More Than Just A Game”

    • Posted on by Christopher Miller
    • STATUS: Dolly is working great and available for free play in the LJAC Gallery during open hours.  High scores were reset for summer 2015. – Updated August 7, 2015

      Latest Statistics: During fall semester 2014, 901 games were played.  During spring semester 2015, 882 games were played. The current all-time high score is 10,089,380 set on June 29, 2015.

      Image of the 1979 Dolly Parton Pinball Machine in the Appalachian Center Gallery

      Title: Our Dolly Parton Pinball Machine: More Than Just a Game

      Dates Showing: September 2, 2013 through the present

      Description: Built around an actual, working 1979 Dolly Parton pinball machine, this exhibition explores Appalachian identity and representation. During the mid-1970s, Bally, a leading pinball machine maker, had a successful series of machines based on celebrities including singer Elton John, daredevil Evel Knievel, hockey star Bobby Orr, and the rock group KISS. Bally Executive Tom Nieman wanted a machine he could sell to country & western  bars.  In 1978, Bally approached Appalachian-born country music star Dolly Parton to license her persona for a pinball machine.  Parton agreed, a contract was signed, and design work began.  This kicked off an interesting process of determining how Parton would be portrayed in the artwork on the machine.

      Click here to visit the online version of the exhibit.

      Curators: College Curator Christopher Miller assisted by Student Curators Jonita Horn,   Joey Shepherd, and Matt Heil.  The online version also involved Student Curatorial Assistant Caroline Hughes.

      Location: LJAC Gallery, Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, Stephenson Hall, Berea College, 211 N. Main Street, Berea, Kentucky

      LJAC Director Chris Green presents a certificate to the winner of our 2013 pinball tournament.

      LJAC Director Chris Green presents a certificate to the winner of our 2013 pinball tournament.

    Exhibit: “Made in Appalachia: Exploring Appalachian Material Culture Beyond Cabins, Crafts, and Coal”

    • Posted on by Christopher Miller
    • Banner for Exhibit, Made in Appalachia: Exploring Appalachian Material Culture Beyond Cabins, Crafts, and Coal

      Title: Made in Appalachia: Exploring Appalachian Material Culture Beyond Cabins, Crafts, and Coal

      Dates Showing: September 2, 2013 through June 30, 2015

      Description: This exhibition explores Appalachian material culture beyond the artifacts stereotypically associated with the region.  It is part of a larger multi-year project  expanding and diversifying our ideas about Appalachian material culture and diversifying our Appalachian Studies Teaching Collection of Artifacts.  This exhibit uses products of the region as an entrée to expanded ideas about the region and its people, including:

      • Salt from the West Virginia salines,
      • Cast iron from eastern Kentucky,
      • Ethylene glycol anti-freeze from the Chemical Valley,
      • The Kodak film emulsion and acetate substrate,
      • The acetate fibers and fabrics used in women’s clothing,
      • Glass marbles, bottles, and volume production art glass,
      • Mass produced restaurant and hotel china,
      • Kodel polyester fabrics,
      • Early Tenite plastic housewares,
      • Aluminum siding, housewares, and beverage cans,
      • Uranium and plutonium for the first atomic bombs,
      • Carpet and tufted bedspreads from north Georgia,
      • Bottled Coca Cola
      • Manufacture of soda bottles and crates,
      • and dozens of other items.

      In the exhibit you can see these items and read the stories of their connection to Appalachia.  Exploring this array of artifacts helps open up our ideas about who has lived and worked in Appalachia.  One encounters slaves who worked in the salt and iron furnaces, Flemish and French immigrants glass workers, freed African-Americans who provided the “cheap labor” in steel mills, Eastern European factory workers, child labor, migrants from rural Appalachian and the Deep South, and the “Hillbilly Girls” who made uranium for the first atomic bombs.

      Click here to visit the online version of the exhibit.

      Curators: College Curator Christopher Miller and Student Curatorial Associate Joey Shepherd.  The online version also involved Student Curatorial Assistant Caroline Hughes.  The project registrar was Student Curatorial Associate Matt Heil.

      Location: Appalachian Center Gallery Display Cases, Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, Stephenson Hall, Berea College, 211 N. Main Street, Berea, Kentucky

      Display Case Number 5 in the Appalachian Center Gallery showing artifacts from the chemical and plastic industry in Appalachia

    Past Exhibit: All the Pretty Horses

    Exhibit: 40 Years of Appalachian Heritage Magazine

    • Posted on by Christopher Miller

      Title: “40 Years of Appalachian Heritage: A Literary Quarterly of the Southern Appalachians”

      Dates Shown: June 7, 2013 through October 19, 2014

      Description: This show explored the impact of one of the region’s first and most significant regional journals after forty years of publication.

      Curators: Former Editor George Brosi, LJAC Director Chris Green, Student Curatorial Associate Joey Shephard, and College Curator Christopher Miller.

      Location:  Longwall Gallery, Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, Bruce-Trades Building, Berea College, 205 N. Main Street, Berea, Kentucky

      Online Version: A limited online version of the exhibit is available.


    Standing Exhibit: “Exploring Appalachia”

    • Posted on by Christopher Miller
    • GalleryWestJan14

      Title: “Exploring Appalachia”

      Dates Showing: Ongoing since 2006, but constantly changing.

      Description: Centered around a 12 foot square relief map of the region, this exhibit provides a nice introduction to the Appalachia for all levels of interest.  This map is the backdrop when the Gallery is converted to a classroom, making the Gallery a great setting for teaching about the region.



      Exhibit highlights include a thirty pound block of coal–the amount required to generate the average daily electrical usage of the typical American household; a map of all the places in Appalachian where energy is generated and fuels are extracted; information about the history, naming, and definition of Appalachia; and a little about Appalachian dialect.

      Curators: There have been a host of curators for different components of this exhibit including, Christopher Miller, Chad Berry, Silas House, and Chris Green.  Assisted by many student Curatorial Assistants and Associates.

      Location: Main Gallery, Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, Stephenson Hall Ground Floor, Berea College Campus, 211 N. Main St., Berea, Kentucky.  Public Parking is available at College Square and on Main Street.


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