One, One Thousand | Southern Photography


Black Belt Color
by Jerry Siegel

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Project statement:

I was born and raised in Selma, Alabama, where family and friends were most valued. It was all I knew. Selma was a vibrant, small southern town, really no different from many towns throughout the South. I was sheltered and oblivious to the tensions and unrest of the times. I was only seven when Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous March across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The March from Selma to Montgomery was instrumental in Lyndon B. Johnson's signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. When Craig Air Force base closed in 1977, it was hard felt for Selma and the community.

Many things have changed since then. And Selma is not the place I remember. I have never lost my attachment to and sentiment for Selma. Even with the passing of my parents, my siblings and I have kept the family home, and still maintain a bond with our past.

I have shot many photos in Selma, but never with a real focus or vision. When my father died in 2000, I began to see these places differently. Buildings that changed faces many times began to disappear. This led me to look more closely at Selma and its surroundings - the haunts of my youth, driving the streets, old stomping grounds and back roads. I continue to shoot these places that hold a special meaning for me. But I find myself documenting also the new look of Selma, Dallas County and the surrounding area. It is a portrait, a contemporary view of the small towns and rural areas of the South.


Bio and contact:

Winner of the first Artadia Award in Atlanta in 2009, Jerry Siegel was born and raised in Selma, AL, and graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta. His first book, Facing South: Portraits of Southern Artists, was published by the University of Alabama Press and Jule Collins Smith Museum in Auburn, AL. His next book, due for release in the fall of 2014, focuses on Siegel’s work in the Black Belt region of Alabama. His work documents the unique, cultural landscape of Central Alabama, the area where he grew up, and still maintains a deep connection. Siegel’s work is in private and corporate collections in Atlanta, Birmingham, Charleston, New Orleans, New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Canada. Select public collections that include his work are The Telfair Museum, Jepson Center for the Arts in Savannah, GA; The Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, LA; The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia in Atlanta, GA; Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL: Montgomery Museum of Fine Art in Montgomery, AL; Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA; Jule Collins Smith Museum, Auburn, AL; The Columbus Museum in Columbus, GA.


Jerry Siegel is an Atlanta, GA, based photographer.
To view more of his work, please visit his website:
You can also contact him by e-mail: