(American, b. 1977; resides in Iowa City, IA)
Jeff Rich’s series, Watershed (2005-ongoing), is a long-term, multi-chaptered project depicting the relationship between land, water, and the human impact on the two. In the second chapter of the series, The Tennessee (2009-ongoing), Rich travels the Tennessee River Basin--a system of rivers in the heart of the South stretching from Tennessee to Northern Ohio--where the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) operates. Rich’s photographs investigate the TVA--a federally created energy production organization founded as part of the New Deal to restore the economy of the region—and its various impacts on life in the Valley. At times reverent in their intimacy and startling with knowledge of environmental impact and residents’ struggles, his photographs contrasts the aspirations of individual residents with larger goals for energy production set out in the TVA’s 80 years of operation in the region.
Jeff Rich completed his BFA in Film and Video (2000) and MFA in Photography (2008), both from Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA. His work has appeared in several publications, including Oxford American Magazine (2011) and The New York Times (2011, 2103). Including numerous solo exhibitions of his Watershed series, Rich’s work has been included in exhibitions at Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, FL (2011), Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC (2012), and the University of Akron (2014). Watershed was awarded the 2010 Critical Mass Book Award and; The French Broad River was published as a monograph in 2012 by Photolucida.