Southbound: Photographs of and About the New South

On View

Opening September 6, 2019, 6-9pm at the Power Plant Gallery with remarks by Mark Sloan, Mark Long and Randall Kenan

Opening September 5, 2019, 6-8pm at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design with remarks by Mark Sloan and Mark Long.



Call & Response: Writing inspired by Southbound

The Southbound catalogue was awarded the 2019 Alice Award by Furthermore grants in publishing, a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund. Purchase the Southbound catalog locally at Letters Bookshop on Main Street in Downtown Durham.

Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South is about the storied, charged, and enduring place that we call the South. The exhibit is curated by Mark Sloan and Mark Long of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston School of the Arts, and organized in this iteration by author and North Carolina native Randall Kenan into two interrelated exhibitions: Flux: Nostalgia vs. the Future, on view here at the Power Plant Gallery, and Home: How We Make Ourselves, on view at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at NC State University.

The purpose of this exhibit is to engage with the South through the eyes and minds of fine art and documentary photographers working in the region since the year 2000, a time when, for all the overlapping processes of economic, demographic, social, and cultural change, it makes sense to think about a New South. The photographs that result from the artists’ sustained thinking about, looking at, and discovery of the multifaceted and startling New South speak to the history, complexity, and ongoing transformation of the region. The images represent the photographers’ own considered responses to their chosen environ­ments–no photographs were commissioned for the project. The Southbound photographs provide the viewer with shifting pathways to moments of unbridled joy and deep frustration, and, ultimately, to an understanding, however fleeting, of this place.

While the South represents too many things to too many people ever to be condensed into any one medium–literary, cartographic, scholarly, or photographic–Southbound opens windows onto the region. The photographs presented here underscore the resilience of the South even as they reveal it as a place remade, once again, in the early twenty-first century.

Southbound continues at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at NC State in Raleigh, where additional photographs are on view. The exhibit is complemented by an array of other instruments that engage with the New South, ranging from cartography to poetry. A digital-mapping environment is available in the galleries and on the web. A documentary film of Southbound artists and commentators can be viewed in the gallery and online. The project’s scholarly catalogue contains essays and poems penned in response to the Southbound images. The Southbound website,, serves as an archive for these component pieces and hosts 550 images from the fifty-six participating artists as well as a playlist featuring music that reflects the multidimensional New South. A full calendar of local events can be found on our events page. Events held at the Gregg Museum can be found on their website.

The photographs at the Power Plant Gallery are presented in partnership with the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University. Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South was organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston School of the Arts.

Programming for Southbound at Duke University is also supported by the Vice Provost for the Arts–Duke Arts, Center for Documentary Studies, and Art, Art History & Visual Studies Department.