Mike Smith
A portait of a black girl with a wrist brace wearing a pink tanktop and shorts while sitting on a the edge of a truck bed.

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Watauga, TN 2014
Collection of the artist

Mike Smith has been investigating the landscapes and people of southern Appalachia since moving to Johnson City, Tennessee, in 1981. Living there for more than thirty years has granted Smith the perspective of both an insider and an outsider. This portrait was taken in a very small town known as Watauga. Smith notes that the image of the girl “provides the viewer with a graceful depiction of the character of rural life in East Tennessee, one that is shifting from its predominately white population to a more accountable reflection of contemporary demographics.”