Day 246: From the Gallery: Portrait of Valerie George – Michele Coleman

In May 2011, this portrait of Valerie George, taken by Michele Coleman, won first place in the University of Kentucky Appalachian Center’s “Re-Imaging Appalachia” photo contest. According to its official website, the center held the contest, which attracted more than 150 entries from eleven different states, in order to “give exposure to interesting photographs that challenge the negative stereotypical notions of what it means to be Appalachian.”

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On her own website, Coleman describes the photo as an “image … of a senior … from Marietta, Ohio … taken on a hillside along Route 68, outside of Parkersburg. … She is holding her beloved cello, and I felt the image was a perfect match for this contest … It really captures the spirit of Appalachia in a different light. The stereotypical images of hillbillies playing banjos and drinking moonshine are just not a good depiction of our region. We are talented, educated, creative people who live in a beautiful terrain of mountains, valleys, and river cities.”

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