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King University News :: King Professor to Showcase Photography at Bristol Public Library Feb. 6

BRISTOL, Tenn., Jan. 22, 2015 – Photographer Joe Strickland will share his unique perspective on architectural interior spaces during a photo exhibition of his work titled “Joe Strickland’s Toilet Rooms,” on Friday, Feb. 6 from 6-8 p.m. in the Bristol Public Library’s Virgie R. Fleenor Art Gallery.

“Joe’s work is going to be very fresh and different for us in the Fleenor Gallery, and, therefore, we are really excited about it,” said Doris Stickley, marketing director for the Bristol Public Library.

“The pieces in this exhibition are part of an on-going series of photographic work. I like to photograph architectural interior spaces and the narratives therein based on the patina and how the space has been used,” said Strickland. “My work is typically absent of physical human presence; however, all in all, it is very much about people – how we interact with the space, look at the space, and see the hand who designed it.”

This series of work by Strickland focuses on public restrooms from coast-to-coast in the United States. “I love this work. It is an untapped resource for interesting art. There have been other artistic pieces about bathrooms, but no one really photographs them in the formalist way in which I do.”

Strickland’s work is precise to the minute detail, utilizing strict measurements and placement within the space, not only making him as a photographer as neutral as possible, but also forcing a perspective for the viewer.

“Essentially, what ends up happening with these spaces, although they are empty, the feeling expressed to me by many who look at the work is one where someone either just left [the space] or someone is about to come in. You have this brief moment to look at these spaces where otherwise you would not stand and look. In most cases, you either don’t think to stand and look at the oddity of the space and what it says about the people who use it and the society it is in as a whole or you are just too uncomfortable to do so.”

Strickland’s work is prone to revolve around some form of social commentary. “I like that my work connects quickly to the person looking at it, but, at the same time, it addresses regional or global issues.”

Strickland commented the primary reaction to this particular body of work is one of humor. “The initial humor is very important. For people who may not otherwise feel they know enough about art to appreciate it or may be uncomfortable looking at it without some sort of explanation, the initial humor allows people to push past that awkward moment and enjoy the artwork, and perhaps, look at the spaces differently upon their next encounter.”

In 2007, Strickland received his Bachelor of Science in Technical Photography in from Appalachian State University, his Master of Fine Art in Photography in 2012 from Utah State University. He currently serves as program chair, and assistant professor for King University’s Digital Media Art Design program, and is the owner of Strickland Architectural Photography and Joe Strickland Photography in Bristol, Tenn.

Visit for more information on King University’s Digital Media Art Design program. Contact Joe Strickland at 423.652.4709 or


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